A Very Giddens Christmas

JR Giddens talks about family, the holidays, and eating rabbit.

This interview took place in late November and was scheduled to be published this morning. After consideration the Phog.net staff decided to post as planned with no editing or changes.

Chestnuts are roasting and bells are jingling. In the spirit of the holidays, Phog.net checked in with one future Jayhawk to see what Christmas memories were in his past.

"The best gift I ever received was a little Fisher Price basketball goal when I was four years old. But the gift I have gotten the most use out of was my car," says Kansas recruit JR Giddens.

Giddens drives the Toyota Corolla but has traded in the 3 foot basketball goal for standard size hoops. Naturally J.R.'s Christmas recollections are more than just presents.

"My favorite part is seeing family members I haven't seen in a while. Sitting around and eating lots of good food listening to my uncles and aunties talk about history and current events and just everything. That is the holidays," says Giddens.

"My family is country," states Giddens. "My cousins tease me because I am a city slicker. I don't hunt, can't round up cattle, never gather eggs. They cook chitlins, neck bones, rabbit…."

Umm, rabbit?

"Oh yeah. Rabbit with gravy is the bomb," says Giddens enthusiastically.

Giddens' father is the thirteenth of fifteen children, so family gatherings can become quite an event.

"When we meet up, it is big. Sometimes we have family reunions at the army base."

Giddens will be well prepared for Late Night, as these family reunions can even include dance contests or talent shows. But a little friendly athletic competition may be the tradition Giddens most associates with holiday gatherings.

"My cousins and I always played Oklahoma versus Texas in football or basketball. It is a battle all day long. We argue and fight and it is big ordeal."

"Usually the parents get into it too. They start trash talking, about who is better. Next thing you know it is like ‘Kids, get your shoes' and it is on. We have to go back to the gym, grown ups too."

Not quite an adult just yet, this "kid" can already can look back at his childhood and find plenty of stories to share.

"When I was about ten or eleven I was at my grandparents and we were swinging off hayloft and landing in hay. I landed right next to a dead snake – I didn't know it was dead," laughed Giddens. I ran all the way from barn to house, about a half a mile. I definitely am not an animal or an insect person."

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