Throughout childhood and early adolescent years, family members and friends are often present at our sporting events showing support. We give our best efforts to impress those we care about. It’s comforting to have a personal fan club.
Unlike high school and AAU teams, collegiate rosters are comprised of student-athletes from all over the country – and in some cases, the world. The majority of them probably never get the chance to play college ball in front of loved ones.
St. John’s freshmen Sir`Dominic Pointer will get that chance on Monday.
More, after the jump.
Pointer, who headlines Steve Lavin’s heralded inaugural recruiting class as ESPN’s 25th best incoming freshman, brings a defensive mindset to the Red Storm. His defensive acumen hasn’t had a tardy arrival either. Along with having already been struck by Cupid, Pointer has taken the ball away from the opponent 9 times in 7 games.
Sure, defense is certainly Sir’Dom’s role on this team. But he’s okay with accumulating a few points along the way.
"I take that role as a defensive player," he said in November at St. John’s Media Day. "Everyone wants to score, but I know that’s not my role. But I do love to score, too."
Which game on the schedule is Pointer excited about most?
"I got to say U of D because that’s my hometown. I’m definitely looking forward to going back home."
That "U of D" that he refers to is the University of Detroit. Pointer, a Michigan native, will get his chance to play in front of family and friends when the Red Storm travels to Detroit on Monday night. He's still excited. "It feels great to play at home," he said today. "They haven't seen me play in a long time, and I want to go show them that I can still play the game of basketball. I'm expecting a lot of family, a lot of supporters out there tomorrow."
Most college athletes would love to get their own personal homecoming game, but it doesn’t always happen. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski makes sure that each of his players get that chance at least once. The Blue Devils traveled to Oregon to fulfill Kyle Singler’s dream.
Under both Norm Roberts and Steve Lavin, some Johnnies have been able to return home in recent years. In four years with the Red Storm, forward DJ Kennedy was able to play at Pittsburgh twice. St. John's was 0-2.
Philadelphia native Sean Evans and Middletown, DE native Paris Horne (about 55 miles from the City of Brotherly Love) got the opportunity four times. In two games at Villanova and two neutral site games at the Palestra (Siena and Temple), the Red Storm was 3-1.
Monday's match-up, which will be televised nationally on ESPN2, will follow a celebration in which the Detroit Titans will re-name its Calihan Hall floor after former coach and well-known color personality Dick Vitale.
The Titans, who were expected to compete for the Horizon title this season, have been rather disappointing thus far. They have gotten off to a 3-6 start and are currently on a 3-game losing streak.
Sir’Dom isn’t the only of the young Johnnies who will have the unique opportunity to play in front of the home crowd. Teammate Phil Greene, a talented freshman guard, will play in front of his hometown fans in early February.