Lupeamanu playing basketball, staying patient

With one scholarship offer from BYU on the table, Herriman High School athlete Tueni Lupeamanu is currently playing basketball while biding his time. He was recently, and unexpectedly, visited by a BYU coach who watched him work out on the basketball court.

There haven't been any recent developments with the Herriman Mustangs' quarterback/athlete Tueni Lupeamanu as far as football is concerned. However, he is currently focusing on another sport.

"There's not a lot happening other than just playing basketball and training for football, but basketball is going good and I start at the forward position on our team," Lupeamanu said. "We've won three games and lost three."

However, the Herriman quarterback is getting ready for some new football-related programs that head coach Larry Wilson will be initiating in order to get his team ready for next season.

"Coach Larry Wilson has us on these programs, so I'm just waiting on some of these programs to start everyday at 7:00 a.m. in the morning to get into that football mindset again," Lupeamanu said.

And how does Harriman's football star feel about his basketball performance so far?

"I've been doing really good," Lupeamanu said. "I've been doing a lot better this year than last year. I feel a lot better and feel quicker. I've been running through a strength training program with Coach Larry and feel a lot quicker on the court, but all this ability on the basketball court all goes back to football, you know?"

Many football prospects – Lupeamanu included – play basketball during the football offseason in order to stay in shape, develop better footwork and maintain a high level of cardiovascular fitness.

Shifting gears from basketball to football, Lupeamanu said there hasn't been much in the way of new developments there, although he has one scholarship offer from BYU.

"It's been pretty much the same thing," he said. "[BYU's] been checking up with me and Francis [Bernard] to see if we can make it down to one of their practices and stuff like that."

However, the Cougars are currently no longer preparing and are down in Texas for their bowl game with Tulsa on Friday. So, he and fellow teammate Francis Bernard – who also has a BYU offer – would have to wait until next spring ball if they want to attend.

"I'm not sure yet when we'll go down there," Lupeamanu said. "They just wanted us to come down to the off season to see their practices a little bit. I'm pretty sure we'll go down there and check it out."

Lupeamanu was contacted by BYU's coaching staff during the recruiting period allowed by the NCAA. He also received a pleasant surprise during one basketball practice when he looked up into the stands.

"Yeah, Coach DuPaix actually came down and watched one of my basketball practices not too long ago," Lupeamanu said. "I was surprised to see him there and he was just watching us run around. It was good.

"Coach DuPaix's always telling us to ‘think BYU' and to come down to some of the meetings to see how awesome it is. You know, it's cool to have the BYU talk in your ear. It's nice to know that it's there and that Coach DuPaix is there to help us out with everything."

While Coach DuPaix bleeds blue as a BYU coach, his brother Danny DuPaix, who is the running back coach for Herriman High School, attended the University of Utah.

"Well, they're totally different people, so it's kind of like that," Lupeamanu said. "Coach Joe DuPaix is all about BYU and is a lot more outgoing. He's really positive and always excited and really gets going.

"Our coach, Danny DuPaix, is kind of a quiet and more of a reserved person but will get after us if he needs to. It's kind of funny because Coach Danny actually went to Utah, I think, for med school. So, he's always wearing Utah stuff around school. Once in a while we'll catch him with a BYU shirt on or something. They're a bit different personality-wise, but it's sweet to actually know both of them."

According to Lupeamanu, Danny doesn't push his players one way or the other when it comes to recruiting.

"No, he's like the rest of the coaches on the staff," he said. "They tell us to go whereever feels right for us. Coach Danny does let us know when his brother Joe is coming down though, but that's about it. Everything is going good."

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