By Meg Myers
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Brad Reese isn’t used to having all four seasons in one day. The junior forward is used to nice, warm weather and sandy beaches. When the Laurel Hill, Florida native landed in Lubbock, Texas, he didn’t know what he got himself into.
“My body isn’t used to being in cold weather all the time,” Reese said. “It’s difficult but I have been here about four or five months so I’m getting used to the Texas wind and the dust but it’s really different.”
Though the climate change was difficult at first, he is not having a difficult time transitioning from junior college to Division I basketball. In his first season at Texas Tech, Reese is averaging 2.7 rebounds and eight points a game. He has also tallied 24 blocks and 22 assists, earning the starting spot in five games.
Reese made his start at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Fla. In his two seasons there, he started all but one game. He was named the Panhandle Conference Freshman of the Year. As a sophomore, he earned All-Panhandle Conference First Team honors.
On the roster chart, his position is listed at forward but Head Coach Pat Knight said Reese can play two or three different positions on the court.
“He can play the forward spot, the guard spot, he can shoot the ball from outside and can drive the ball,” Knight said. “From a defensive standpoint, he can guard a lot smaller guys which is rare for a 6’5” or 6’6” guy to be able to guard point guards. He’s just really versatile.”
The team had one of the best starts in school history. Even with all the success the Red Raiders have thus far, Reese still expects himself and the team to get better.
“We’re becoming a really good team by bonding, playing good defense, and doing the right things on and off the court,” he said. “As a player, I want to play hard every possession and do whatever my talent can do to help the team win. Whether it’s supporting the best player or hitting the best shot. Whatever the team needs, I just want to be that type of player.”
Junior guard John Roberson credits Reese as a good teammate with a lot of athleticism that really helps the team.
“He puts the team first and gets along with everybody,” Roberson said. “Brad is a very versatile player, can guard anybody and is a good defensive player. He’s an all around good player.”
Reese may be far from home but his teammates and focus on school and basketball have made the distance seem smaller.
“We’re a really good team and everybody is like brothers,” Reese said. “We’ll practice battling hard but at the end of the day we’re family. They took me in like a brother. I’m far from home but I don’t feel like it. I am focusing on basketball and getting my education.”
Once the human development and family studies student ends his career at Tech, he hopes his path will lead to the NBA. If that path isn’t where he is supposed to be, then he wants to coach either college level or high school kids.
“I like being around the sport and helping kids,” he said. “During the summer, I go home and help the kids at my high school. If the NBA doesn’t work out, I would still want to be around kids and basketball.”
Knight said he expects Reese to keep doing what he has been doing so far this season and thinks his playing time will continue to increase as the season goes on.
“He’s gotten off to a great start the first nine games,” Knight said. “I think you’re going to see him continue to get better throughout the year.”