I learned a lot I didn't know about UALR power forward Rashard Jones-Jennings, and it's a great story about overcoming rejection after rejection to become one of the best rebounders in college basketball. Gary Parrish of CBS Sports online found the story, and here it is.
We caught Jones-Jennings and the Trojans last night in their 71-69 upset win at home over Sun Belt Conference leader Western Kentucky. It was a slow-arriving crowd that, according to the UALR officials, topped 3,000. That's probably a little stretch, but it was a rousing crowd from the last five minutes of the second half to the finish. Jones-Jennings (I've always been fascinated that he had a hyphenated name, for some reason) didn't score a point until midway into the second half, but he finished with 10, along with 10 rebounds. UALR started like it was going to be destroyed on their home court, but somehow got things together to outscore the Hilltoppers 24-6 over the last 8 minutes of the second half and lead by six at halftime. It was fun to see a team playing as hard as UALR, and Western Kentucky was a well-coached, decent shooting outfit who also refused to go away when they too could have been run out of the gym.
I hope local fans will begin to support UALR's basketball team and its athletic program stronger, and turn out 5,000 strong for some of these upcoming Sun Belt games. It certainly beats the circus going on up in Fayetteville (though I do like this Hog basketball team, and it appears that if it weren't for bad luck, they and Stan Heath would have none at all, like the ol' "Hee Haw" song went).