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Freshman Forward Josh Mballa-Texas Tech
It’s About Transitions
In college basketball they talk about transitions all the time. It is either transition defenses or offenses though. One transition that people don’t usually think of is the transition from high school player to college player.
You have to get to know a new school campus, find classes, adjust to a roommate you just met, and you might be in a different state all together. On top of all that you must manage a practice schedule, strength and conditioning, and if you are not one of the elite freshmen, you have to wait your turn for playing time.
Foster Loyer, a freshman guard at Michigan State reflected on his time at Clarkston High School in Michigan. “My high school coach, Dan Fife, he taught me a lot. One of the things he always preached to me was being the hardest worker in any room you walk into. You’re not going to be the most talented, you might not be the most skilled, but you can always control how hard you work.”
By: Mike Resendez
Auburn’s Preston Cook, a freshman guard from Auburn high school, said that the transition from high school to college was a big change. “It’s definitely a lot faster. I’m still trying to adjust, but it’s going well.” I also asked him what he brought from high school to Auburn. “Being able to be coached, that’s a big key.” He went to say that his high school coaches emphasized the importance of being punctual to practices, “They always told me to show up early for practices. Do everything I’m supposed to be doing and basically keep my head on straight.”
The transition for Virginia’s Kody Stattmann is probably the biggest one. He is originally from Bentley Park, Queensland, Australia. “The main transition for me playing wise was the different size of players and how athletic they were and how strong and tough you have to be on the ball.” The best advice he received from his coaches back home in Australia was to be tough and not to do too much.
Texas Tech freshman Josh Mballa was born in Detroit, Michigan but raised in Bordeaux, France. He has experience with international play on France’s U17 National Team before arriving at Texas Tech. He talked to me about the “student” part of student athlete. “My teammates helped me a lot. Starting in the summer with us and the weightlifting helped me get my body right. I just tried to ask for help when I needed it and my teammates and coaches have been really good to me.” When asked about any advise from his coaches at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut Mballa said, “Just be myself. Don’t try to do anything that is not me. Trust the coaching staff.”
The first game of the NCAA Final Four will take place on Saturday, April 6th at 5:09pm.