AP PHOTO – Elaine Thompson
Here’s our story on coach Lorenzo Romar, assistant Raphael Chillious and senior Quincy Pondexter who visited Texas A&M senior guard Derrick Roland on Wednesday.
HERE’S SOME QUOTES:
(Why are you going to visit Roland?) “It’s Christmas. He’s away from home. He’s a senior. You practice all summer. You have these visions. Man it’s my last year. This is how you want to do it. And judging by his player’s reactions it seems like he’s someone they really respect. If something like that happens to you, all the thoughts go through your mind.
“Will I ever play again? Does anybody care? This is the last thing I wanted to do. I’m in Seattle, the middle of nowhere. I’ve never been here. So it’s all of those things. And it’s Christmas. If you can lift his spirits just a little, then you do it.
“Also to show Texas A&M our support for him and their program. We’re opponents on the floor, but off the floor it’s got nothing to do with competition or battle. We’re all human beings. We get caught up in this game sometimes, but that’s just a microcosm of what life is all about.”
(How did this come together?) “We talked after the game last night and when it happened I knew I’m going to want to go to see him. I thought about doing it last night, but he had the surgery and all.
“I talked to Coach Chill (Raphael Chillious) and he said he wanted to go by. I talked to Stephanie Rempe our associate athletic director and she asked if there’s anything she could to. (UW trainer) Pat Jenkins’ wife suggested we bring him a care package.
“Dr. (Christopher) Wahl called me this morning and we talked about it. I asked where was he and he told me. I asked him can we go over there? And here we are.
“We asked the players who would like to go and the ones that want to go are going.’
(How many players are going?) “Just Quincy (Pondexter).”
(And that says something about Pondexter doesn’t it?) “Yeah. I think Quincy was freaked out about it as much as anyone on the team. Any time something like that happens you think what if that was me. How would I feel?”
(Did you talk to A&M coach Mark Turgeon?) “We talked briefly right after the game. We’ll talk again. It was a tough evening for him with all of that happening. You coach a game and one of your guys go down, especially one of those that .. for us it might have been like losing a Jon Brockman. Where this guy gives you everything. Everyone is looking to him for inspiration. And he goes down. You just feel so bad for him.
“I guarantee you he (Turgeon) is coaching the rest of that game thinking about that kid. I thought he still had pretty good composure in spite of it.”
(Why did you visit Roland?) “It was a chance for me to see him and make sure he was alright and it was a chance for him to get some support from us. He’s doing a great job. He’s a really tough kid. They say he didn’t cry after receiving that injury.
(What was the scene like at the hospital?) “He’s been resting and sleeping a lot because of all of the medicine that they’ve had him on so he was a little groggy and tired. He’s been sleeping for the most part because he couldn’t sleep that much last night.
“He’s doing a good job. (Donald) Sloan was in there with him. They’ve been like brothers forever it seems like and to have him next to (Roland’s) side it was a great feeling of team and brotherhood.
December 24, 2009 at 12:05 PM
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