Bam Doyne spent part of his early summer in Costa Rica taking Spanish. He's not sure if he's fluent but at least he made it through.
Ole Miss students through the years have gone the route of taking a foreign language in another country. In the past quarterback Romaro Miller and running back Deuce McAllister were among those who went to Costa Rica to take Spanish. But the program isn't limited to student-athletes. Our own Ben Hammond, who wrote for four years at the Spirit as a student, took classes in Costa Rica one summer.
Doyne was joined by fellow Rebel hoopster Jermey Parnell and Lady Rebel basketball players Danetra Forrest and Carla Bartee. The rising senior guard says it was an experience but he's basically glad it's in the past.
"We were in class for like four hours a day, and after that we were on our own," said the Little Rock native. "One thing we wanted to do was play some basketball, but we couldn't find any gyms. So we played soccer and some other stuff to pass the time."
Doyne said they worked hard to keep in shape, and were all over the place running and working out.
"We'd do pushups and run up and down the stairs," he quipped. "I felt like Rocky."
Rocky has been the men's basketball program since Doyne has been here for three years. No winning seasons and now a coaching change haven't given those within the program much to hang their hats on yet. Doyne believes that is changing with the new regime.
"This is my last year. We have to be good," said Doyne, who averaged nine points a game as a junior, third best on the team, playing in all 30 games and averaging 27 minutes per contest. "I feel like with the players we have we can be successful. I believe we will be better this year."
The Rebels haven't been bad. In Doyne's first three seasons they've averaged 14 victories a year, just two or three wins shy of making it to postseason play. But it's been getting those next few victories which would put the team over the top and into postseason play that have been difficult to come by.
After a 3-0 start in SEC play this past season, the Rebels won just one more contest all season, losing 13 of their last 14 games. That proved to be the end of the regime and the start of a new one.
"Everybody's getting to know each other and understanding each other," Doyne said of the new program. "Everybody wants to win and that's the focus for this year. Nobody is talking about waiting until a year or two for the program to win. The other seniors (Todd Abernethy, Clarence Sanders) and I can't do that anyway. It's our last chance."
Doyne has been to summer school every year and is set to graduate on time. He'll focus on that important aspect of his college career, but this season he intends to make sure his basketball game is at its highest level.
"We're all looking forward to school starting in August so we can get the program implemented," he said. "We'll really start focusing then on the season. I know we have a chance to win this year, and I'm anxious to see it all come together. It should be fun."
Bam Doyne looking toward senior year
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