Tim Floyd, Kansas, Basketball discussed on Stories I Tell on Dates

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Me. Well, Tim Floyd was writing to me. I was tearing up high school basketball courts all over northeast Kansas, fueled in no small part by all those rejections. Sometimes during my senior year, I'd only score twenty, but a lot of the time I scored thirty an accomplishment made all the more difficult. Thanks to the zones, the double teams and boxes, and ones that were engineered by opposing small town coaches by season's end average twenty five points and twelve rebounds shooting a nearly unbelievable seventy percent from field while also blocking four shots every game leading the state in both categories and we were winning. We had a coach who encouraged us to raise up and down the court. A point guard jed Traxler who transferred to our school before junior year who could throw me in alley youth and a three point shooter to take the pressure off the inside together. We took our tiny high school to the state tournament for the first time in school history. Surely. Someone would notice all of that. I thought. And so they did the university of Missouri, Kansas City you KC was interested. So was Wichita state and Drake university into Moines better, but still not the place I wanted? Sure. I'd written those letters to schools all over the country, but I hadn't given up hope on Kansas by March. Most of the high school seniors who are going to play college basketball, the following autumn had already signed their letters of intent or about to like a sophomore girl who's three months pregnant. I need to make a decision. So after we lost by seven, in the first round of the state tournament, I visited Dartmouth Harvard, the university of Vermont and the university of North Dakota at Dartmouth. I saw my first real party and I thought maybe Hanover was the right place for me, but then I came home and we figured out that my parents would have to pay fifteen thousand dollars a year for me to go to keggers with rich white people. Harvard was expensive to, of course, but it was Harvard or so said our families resident, Harvard grad, my uncle, Tom in Vermont, the coach told me he thought I could be a Rhodes scholar and at North Dakota, true to form coast k. made the competition. Look clownish, Lee, incompetent. My hotel room was filled with green and white balloons when I got to the gym on the scoreboard above a message. Read welcome Paul to the home of your future dunks. Here I was wanted. Here I would succeed here. I would probably become the team star, but at a division two school. After the visit, I told coach k. how much I appreciate it. Everything he'd done in that I'd miss him in the models. But the thing was one way or another. I was going to play division one basketball. He was disappointed. He told me, but he wasn't surprised. I might even be able to help. He said. Before taking a job at the university of North Dakota coach k. had been in assistant at Iowa State. When I told him to buzz off, he called Iowa State head coach, Tim Floyd, and told him about this kid, and no one knew about, but he thought was good enough to play in the big twelve, the sports conference that had just been formed by all the former members of the big eight and a half. The members of the southwestern conference Floyd had just given away his last scholarship. He had an idea though one of his former assistants was at southern Mississippi. Why didn't he put us in touch the next day I took a call in the high school library. It was the head coach, southern miss offering a scholarship. This was a little more like it a few days later I heard from the head coach at Davidson college in North Carolina. He was willing to fly to Kansas to watch me work out soon. After his visit, I went to Charlotte to walk the campus at Davidson, the smallest division one school in the United States, and the only one that's still did all of its students. Laundry. Then when I got back from North Carolina, two pieces of news, we're waiting after a little research. My mother had learned that it I was state status as a national merit finalist was worth a full academic scholarship. She'd gotten back in touch with the basketball office and Tim Floyd had started paying attention again if I wanted. I could come to Ames on that academic scholarship and play for the team. Technically, I would be a walk on a non athletic scholarship player, but Floyd promise not to tell anyone, but I was state would have to wait because the other piece of news was that Matt Doherty had called ROY Williams wanted me to come to Lawrence to talk. The night before the big day, I conjured various dream scenarios all of which involved roaring Allen Fieldhouse crowds Raef lafrentz than the jayhawks starting power forward high fiving the after Lael. Paul Pierce whose I practiced. I'd watched as a high school junior picking me up off the floor after I'd take an charge shock. Wban smiling at me as we both ran back on defense after I'd made a short jumper. In the morning, I put on my best Saint John's bay long-sleeve cursed the pair of Whitehead's that had made an inconvenient appearance overnight and got into the grand Voyager with my parents for the drive to Lawrence.

Coming up next