Basketball Has Been a Necessity

“This is where I belong; I should be out there now, helping my teammates.”

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Transcript for Basketball Has Been a Necessity

Um, I came here September 2010. I had a friend who was also from Jamaica that went here. The person that is now the head coach here Bryce Drew was recruiting me. I’m a person who was a strong believer so the Christian atmosphere has helped my faith a lot too.

The head coach who lef… retired last year, Homer Drew he’s a spiritual man, and his son Bryce Drew’s also a spiritual man, and when I came here they introduced me to a couple of people who worked on campus, and some worked with the basketball team were like highly spiritual, some were, um, ministers in churches and pastors. So that kind of helped me to lean towards coming here cuz give me a feeling of belonging.

In my country, it’s not like, it’s mostly a population of black people. So like coming here and being a different population where it’s mostly a lot of white people is somewhat strange for me being a minority, but it wasn’t that much because I’m tall and already have that stigma of being stand out so it was somewhat kind of strange.

So basketball has really been, uh, very, uh, like a necessity. Everybody, everybody that I play with, the coaches, the players they’re like my family cuz, um, so far from my family, they are like, they are the only family that I have here.

It means a lot to represent my school and go out there everyday, and every night on the court and wear, wear Valparaiso on the front of my clothes, and my name on the back. Not only being here representing, represent in Valparaiso, bringing, uh, a good stigma to the school, but also being here the representative of my family and my country.

Especially for this year, I really felt like I belong because I, I had to sit out this year, couldn’t play any games, saw how some of the games we had a little struggling, and I was like, I mean, this is where I belong; I should be out there now, helping out my teammates. It kinda like left me a little bit sad, but motivates me to be ready for the next season to say hey I belong here and I’m going to show everybody why I belong here.

I’m 6’11” – I’ve always been the tallest one to go to all the schools I’ve been to, and I, I, just stick out like a sore thumb. Sometimes you feel it’s like bad to just be the tallest person. Sometimes I do get a little cocky too. People do talk about you being a black guy that’s almost 7 foot, but I don’t need to prove anything to anybody at all.