Welcome back here to Bethel University men’s basketball media day on Paul County, the longtime voice of the pilots. Glad you can join us here today. I’ve been blessed to watch this young man play basketball at the high school level on our affiliated station here. And locally on 91.1 FM, The Globe and Globe Radio Dawg. Drew, lots is the pride of Penn High School.
And of course, he spent a couple of years down it with Carson Cunningham down at Incarnate Word. Now he’s back. He’s got two years of eligibility. So I know he’s excited to be here. His brother played a couple of years here at Bethel. So you’ve been a part of this Bethel family, incognito, if you will. Really your whole life. You grew up watching games here. So what’s it like?
What was it like the first time you put that Bethel uniform on and realize I’m here to finish out my basketball career?
Yeah. So on my visit, it just felt right. Putting that jersey on, I felt like I was meant to be here. Felt right. Felt at home. So very excited for this season.
Well, one of the things about it, your sister played here, your brother played here. And so as I look, I look back on having had a chance to watch all the lot’s kids play. You want to give some props out to your mom and dad because they they are some of the greatest parents I’ve ever been around because they’re at every game.
They’re at everything that you would need to go and so let’s just talk about how difficult that had to be for them when you’re in Texas. And I mean, did they get down there for every game or where was where were they at?
They they made it down for a lot of trips. They loved the Riverwalk and San Antonio. Obviously, they couldn’t see me as much as they would like, but they enjoyed those visits, especially in those cold winters. But they’re very excited to have me back.
Well, we’re really excited to have you back, too. So the decision to come back to play for Coach Straight been in the staff here. What was the thing that that tugged at your heartstrings and said, yeah, this is where I wanted to be because you made I mean, you were originally decided that you were going to come here and then a car comes in and gives you a Division one scholarship, and now you’re coming back.
So what was the the primary reason you want to come back home?
Yeah. I mean, there are a lot of different factors, but as far as coach driving, I would say just how much he cares for others and accepts others where they’re at and their faith journey and basketball journey. And he’s got a lot of goals for me that I’m excited about, so I would say that.
Do you think that the landscape of the crossroads, like in you’ve grown up watching this jersey, you understand the dynamics of the league, some of the other new guys coming in here, they just don’t understand this league. But you you do because you’ve seen it and you understand it. So talk to me about your mental and your physical basketball preparation approach to getting ready for the gauntlet.
That is the crossroads, right?
And you’re exactly right. It’s a gantlet. And people in Texas don’t understand the level of competition we have here. Great NBA basketball. It’s one of the toughest campuses in the nation. I’d say for any I be I’m excited. I know how much of a challenge it’s going to be, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be fun, fun working with these guys and build on what we’ve started so far.
Now I remember this skinny little guy who I saw watch him play his very first game. When you were a Penn High School youth, you filled out a little bit, but I noticed one thing last year. Looking at your stats, over 100 assists last year, ten and a half points. I play in Division one basketball. You had 21 starts last year for Incarnate Word.
Can you give us an idea as and when you sat down with Steve that he say, say, hey, listen, I want you to be that shooter. I want you to be that guy to distribute the basketball. And the second part of that question would be whatever role you’re asked to. Are you good with either role?
Oh, yeah. Whatever they need me to do, I’m I’m going to work at doing another thing I’ve noticed just so far is just the confidence and freedom I’ve had playing here. And it’s brought my game to a whole new level. So I’m excited for this season.
Now I know Coach Ocean has said now here and part of this program and he’s going to help develop you. Steve is one of the greatest free throw shooters on the planet ever. So you’ve got two former guards who know the game inside and out, who have played at a high level. Talk about how that has to help you and when it comes to preparation.
Oh, yeah, I’m very excited about Coach Ocean. I remember coming here, working out with Coach Lightfoot, seeing Caleb there, watching him do his thing. So I’d even take notes back then. So I’m like a I feel like I’m a little kid still looking up to him, but I’m excited. I’ll get to work with him and learn from him as well.
So two years of eligibility. Have you sat down in a notepad and say, hey, listen, these are our team goals, these are my individual goals. How do you kind of program your mindset, if you will, Drew, on this whole thing? And where are you at with that?
Right. So I do have a lot of goals, but I mean, most importantly, I just want to find the joy basketball again. I feel like I’ve gotten that back just being back here this summer and just building these relationships I have with the guys I’m excited about. And obviously the standard Bethel wanting to win national championships. I feel like I’m excited to bring that back.
Hopefully we can get that done.
I know I can tell you this and you understand where I’m coming from. Welcome home, Lady Drew. Let’s try to Penn High School back here. He’s got two years of eligibility for the playoffs. We’ll be back with more. Bethel University men’s basketball media day right after this.