One of the greatest joys for a
writer and of course fan of college athletics is watching a young man
grow up in front of you. JR Giddens is one of those guys.
came to New Mexico via Kansas under former Lobo coach
Ritchie Mckay. The first thing you noticed about JR was that he is a
talent with a basketball; however, JR was still a young kid and had
maturing to do. The first time I spoke with JR was memorable, as with a
on his face JR showed that he was brash, cocky, and a very exciting
player. Like I said there was that maturing thing.
first year playing at UNM he showed flashes of
basketball brilliance on the court. However, most people remember that
one that UNM did win many games, and with JR spending as much time in
doghouse as he did on the court. Toss in a few suspensions, things
shown on the
Lobo Coaches show at the time that bordered on reality TV, and the
people didn’t care for the brashness and cockiness that was displayed
Giddens with former Coach McKay
McKay… Enter current Lobo Coach Steve Alford and his
assistant Craig Neal. Exit the coddling of the superstar and enter
and consequences, and as thing turned out… exit JR the kid, enter Mr.
the time JR was hesitant, he like most Lobo fans didn’t
know what to expect and more importantly how he stood. Here is a guy
being told he was a lottery pick by his former coach, and enter a pair
that played in the NBA, and know what it takes to get there… Also enter
of guys that heard all the stories about JR’s previous seasons at both
and New Mexico…
JR’s credit he grew up and quickly, he became a better
teammate, a better person, and an even better basketball player. Coach
and Coach Neal took JR under their wing so to speak and JR became
he started listening instead of just talking, and the whole time the
winning games and JR kept getting better.
week it all paid off for JR Giddens as he was drafted
by the NBA World Champion Boston Celtics with the last 1st
pick of the NBA draft. JR’s lifelong dream was realized and Lobo fans
us internet writers were able to rejoice as JR grew up right before our
here to listen
to JR Giddens
about this story on our basketball message board!