Prince in waiting

There may have been a couple of former and current Tennessee stars missing from Monday night's Pilot Rocky Top League, but one former star stopped through for a little workout. Former Tennessee guard J.P. Prince guest-starred with the Choice Spine team for Monday's action. Go "Inside" to read about Prince's upcoming plans for his basketball career.

While Tennessee fans may have been disappointed with the absence of players like Tyler Smith and Scotty Hopson during Monday night's Pilot Rocky Top League they were treated to the presence of another former Tennessee star.

J.P. Prince appeared as a guest with the Choice Spine team alongside Tennessee's Cameron Tatum. Prince was just stopping through town and wanted to get in a good workout at Bearden High School.

"I just came out because I was in town and Tyler was supposed to be here and we were going to play," Prince said. "Its just a good opportunity to come in and play against the guys, a time to get a good workout in a hot gym."

Tyler Smith wasn't in attendance for Monday's action. Both Prince and Smith played together during the first annual Pilot Rocky Top League and took home the title.

Prince was coming through town to get a few things out of his old Knoxville apartment and unfortunately Monday was the last glimpse Tennessee's fans would get of Prince during this year's summer league.

"I am just in town getting some stuff out of my apartment," Prince said. "I just came through to say what's up to everybody and I will be out back to Memphis (today)."

Prince said that he, his agent and his family are hard at work to determine where he will be heading for his basketball future.

"I still haven't decided on what summer league I am going to go to and which teams yet. We are deciding on which team I want to play for," Prince said.

Prince said he hopes to have a decision by the end of the week as to where he is headed to play pro summer ball.

"I am waiting a little bit to see how the free agency stuff goes with the NBA people," Prince said. "We will decide and some time before the end of the week I will be somewhere, we just haven't made a final decision yet. By the end of the week I will have at least a plan in place."

Prince maintained that although there have been offers he doesn't want to name any names at this point. To him the team names aren't important.

"We have a list of teams that have offered to come into their summer leagues," Prince said. "I don't really want to say any names. That's not important, because you haven't decided on one yet so you don't want to throw a list out there or anything. When you have offers and options you just want to do what's best for you."

Even European basketball may be an option for Prince. He said that is a decision that weighs heavily on his family.

"I have European offers, but those are all other options," Prince said. "You have to consider all that stuff. You let your agency talk to your family about that stuff and when that time comes you make the decision."

Prince said it isn't just about the basketball. There is a lot of ball to be played off the court before you can start playing basketball on the court.

"There are just other things you have to handle, it's not just basketball stuff, you have to handle a lot of stuff off the court like contracts and stuff," Prince said. "You just have to let agents do their jobs and when they give you the call you just go and play where you need to play at."

One thing was for sure – Prince enjoyed his time in Knoxville, especially a chance to play with his old teammates.

"It's great," Prince said. "You get to see all them, play against them and see how they have gotten better. We do this all the time so it's just something you get used to. Knoxville is like a second home to me. This is where I come to relax and have fun."

Prince said this certainly isn't the last time he will be back in Knoxville to reunite with friends, family and fans.

"We will always come back," Prince said. "UT is family, Coach (Bruce) Pearl is family and we are always going to come support him. Not just during the off-season, but in the season. If we are able to make games we will be there.

"We are Vols for life. That never changes. You want to come and always give back, because the city and the fans have given so much to us over the years."


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