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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Freshman hoopsters play pick-up

    Learning the college game through summer pickup games is only half of the battle when entering a Division I basketball program.

    Picking up the pace in the classroom is a big adjustment, too.

    Enrolling in school for the second summer session of classes, both guard Lamont ‘MoMo’ Jones and wing Kevin Parrom are finding their way in Tucson before the fall semester begins.

    “”All my classes are going well right now,”” said Parrom, a South Kent high school product who added that taking classes with his freshmen teammates provides him with support. “”If somebody’s slacking, then we pick each other up.””

    Taking courses like English 101 and the always popular Music 109 – which covers pop and rock music – the two roommates realize that this summer is only the beginning of what lies ahead.

    Basketball and school hold equal priority, and neither will come easily.

    “”Sitting down and talking with Nic Wise and things like that…everything is getting more clear,”” said Jones, who moved to Tucson from New York about three weeks ago. “”I see that you’ve got to put the work in, in order to get to the next level and to win a championship.

    “”That’s what I came here to do. I didn’t come here to lose.””

    During a non-practice period due to NCAA regulations, the pair have been hitting the weight room and playing in pick-up games to acclimate themselves with their teammates, Jones said. Likewise, the team’s upperclassmen can get acquainted with the youngsters’ style of play and give them advice about how to manage school, athletics and distractions.

    What tips have the veteran basketball players given them? Simply, college basketball is a whole other animal. Advancing from the high school ranks to D-I basketball means starting at the bottom of the barrel and improving by spending long hours at the gym.

    “”It’s a different style of play, a quicker style of play,”” Jones said. “”You have to be mentally and physically tough to really, you know, be the player you want to be in this league.””

    In addition to the pressures of school and basketball, the East Coast players’ move to Tucson proved to be a drastic change in scenery as well.

    Not that it’s a bad change.

    “”I like going out to restaurants,”” Parrom said. “”A lot of Mexican food…I haven’t eaten Mexican food until I got out here.””

    “”Everything is nice out here,”” he added. “”It’s beautiful, and the weather is great, too.””

    When comparing Tucson to his home state, Jones said that he enjoyed the change of pace.

    “”It’s different from New York, but it’s lovely out here,”” he said. “”In New York, everybody’s partying whereas here, there’s classes. (It’s) more of a laid back town.””

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