Mr. Giddens

Thank you JR Giddens for some great basketball and congratulations on being drafted!

One of the greatest joys for a writer/journalist/website writer and of course fan of college athletics is watching a young man or woman grow up in front of you. JR Giddens is one of those guys.

 JR came to New Mexico via Kansas under former Lobo coach Ritchie Mckay. The first thing you noticed about JR was that he is a great talent with a basketball; however, JR was still a young kid and had some maturing to do. The first time I spoke with JR was memorable, as with a smile on his face JR showed that he was brash, cocky, and a very exciting basketball player. Like I said there was that maturing thing.

 JR's first year playing at UNM he showed flashes of basketball brilliance on the court. However, most people remember that year as one that UNM did win many games, and with JR spending as much time in McKay's 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 losing many people didn't care for the brashness and cockiness that was displayed by JR Giddens.

Giddens with former Coach McKay

 Exit McKay… Enter current Lobo Coach Steve Alford and his assistant Craig Neal. Exit the coddling of the superstar and enter expectations and consequences, and as thing turned out… exit JR the kid, enter Mr. JR Giddens.

 At 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 that was being told he was a lottery pick by his former coach, and enter a pair of guys that played in the NBA, and know what it takes to get there… Also enter a pair of guys that heard all the stories about JR's previous seasons at both Kansas and New Mexico…

 To JR's credit he grew up and quickly, he became a better teammate, a better person, and an even better basketball player. Coach Alford and Coach Neal took JR under their wing so to speak and JR became "coachable" he started listening instead of just talking, and the whole time the Lobos were winning games and JR kept getting better.

 Last week it all paid off for JR Giddens as he was drafted by the NBA World Champion Boston Celtics with the last 1st round pick of the NBA draft. JR's lifelong dream was realized and Lobo fans and yes us internet writers were able to rejoice as JR grew up right before our eyes…

Click here to listen to JR Giddens


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