Tucker adds a veteran presence to young Miners
Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
It’s not common for student-athletes to pursue added playing time once they’ve completed their studies as undergraduates. For shooting guard Konner Tucker, playing his final season of eligibility as a graduate student at UTEP, it was an easy choice to make.
“(It was) mainly the coaching staff with (head) coach (Tim) Floyd and his assistants, they’re pretty big time and they’ve been around and done some really good things,” Tucker said. “The basketball tradition that UTEP has and the school is great too. I got one year left of college ball, I am looking forward and excited for the season to start and hopefully we can do some big things as a team.”
Tucker received his bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University, where he was the team’s leading scorer in the 2011-12 season. He’s now working towards his master’s degree in leadership studies and playing on more year of basketball while at it.
“It’s a pretty neat degree; the leadership and organizational subjects, that kind of fits me well because I want to be a college coach when I get older,” Tucker said. “I would like to play for money and if I’m good enough I would like to play overseas, if it’s the right situation. If not, that was another reason why I came here. I knew coach Floyd was a big time coach … and I know he can help me out with what I want to do when I get older.”
Tucker, who turned 23 in September, joined the Miners at the start of the fall semester. He said he feels confident about his role on the team and where him and his teammates are.
“I think we’ll be fine, we have a lot of good pieces on this team,” Tucker said. “They had a young team last year, but then we got some experience with (junior) John Bohannon, (senior) Jacques Streeter and with me coming in. I’m just really trying to do whatever I can to help the team win. That’s the main goal, for us to do well as a team.”
Floyd said he’s looking forward to having Tucker on his team and feels that he brings some veteran experience to it.“We really don’t know what kind of a role Konner (Tucker) will play for us. We found him in late July and we know that he was a highly recruited player who was at Wake Forest and Sam Houston State before coming here,” Floyd said. “He got some minutes at Wake, but he’s going to have to learn a whole new system here. We think he gives us an ability to make shots from the perimeter, he also brings some experience being a fifth-year senior, so that should help us, since we are a very young team.”
Bohannon said that Tucker’s presence on and off the court will make a big impact on the team.
“First of all, he’s a good guy, and he’s been a part of college basketball going on five years now, so he’s going to bring that experience to the table,” Bohanon said. “He’s been in college, he’s been around, he’s probably seen it all. From a game standpoint, that’s going to help us tremendously.”
Basketball has always been part of Tucker’s life, whether it was playing it or watching his father coach.
His father, Mark Tucker, was a basketball player at Oklahoma State and got his first job as a high school coach at age 23.
“It’s what I love, it’s what I love to do and I don’t see myself doing anything else other than something in basketball…playing or coaching,” Tucker said. “My father doesn’t put any pressure on me, but he wants me to be the best I can be. I think up to this point, I’ve done a pretty good job of it.”
Herman Delgado may be reached at email@example.com.