Not much time has passed since Jojo Zamora first stepped foot on the University of Utah campus and instantly fell in love. The 6-foot-2 inch, 170 pound guard wasted no time and committed to the Utes on the spot.
“I came on my visit and fell in love with the coaching staff and how they were running their offense,” said Zamora.
With all of his grades in place Zamora was able to join the team over the summer and take part in all of the team workouts. His early arrival has been important because improving his body has been one of the top things on his mind. “I just need to get stronger. That’s the main thing,” he said. “Get putting on pounds, because I’m a really skinny dude.”
To accomplish this, Zamora finds himself 15 pounds lighter than the average guard on the roster and he doesn’t want his strength to be the reason that keeps him off of the court.
The transition to the University of Utah from Yuba College is going well for Zamora, even if it is still challenging at times. “It’s a little bit tougher, coming from JUCO. I’ve really got to pay attention to detail,” he said.
However, Zamora feels he possesses the skills that it takes to become a solid player for Utah. “I can score, shoot, drive, get my teammates involved and play good D,” he said.
After only five days of practice, Zamora’s defensive play has already caught the attention of the coaching staff. “Two of our best defenders are Tyler Rawson and Jojo Zamora," said Larry Krystkowiak after Thursday’s practice. "They play the way I like. They go about their business, and their demeanor, it gets a little chippy.”
Zamora credits his defensive tenacity to the coaching he received from his father. “My dad was my AAU coach so he always prided in playing good D. We always played defense first because defense wins championships,” he explained. “That’s how I grew up, just playing defense.”
The Utes have just begun their preseason practices and many questions continue to surround this fresh-faced team, but Zamora is confident that Utah will be able to put a good product on the floor. Zamora says that the Utes will be able to play a “high, fast paced” style of play and take advantage of the solid shooters on the team.
As far as the impact on the court he envisions, Zamora said, “I’m just trying to do anything that the coaches need me to do. If that’s score, I’m going to do that. If that’s play defense, lock up their best player or anything, that’s what I’m going to do.”