When Joey Frenchwood IV was cut from Montana State University’s basketball team after his freshman year, instead of feeling sorry for himself, he resolved to work harder.

Now a junior transfer for the Lamar Cardinals, Frenchwood is a fixture in the starting lineup.

“(It) really inspired me to work harder than ever to prove people wrong,” he said. “Out of high school, I wasn’t recruited that highly and didn’t get an offer to play college ball ’til after I graduated. It is hard because you feel like people don’t believe in you that much. You have this dream to play basketball your whole life, and then someone tells you that you aren’t as good as you think you are. It has just motivated me to get better when I am given the opportunity.

“There is no one to blame but myself. However, with support from my family, the ball is in my court and I am ready to play.”

After leaving MSU, Frenchwood found a home at Hill Junior College in Hillsboro, where he was named First-Team All-Conference, averaging 12 points and six assists while guiding his team to a 22-9 record and postseason berth to conference tournament.

“This was the perfect opportunity for me to redo my recruiting and go to the right school,” he said. “I had many offers that came my way after my sophomore year, but Coach Tic Price here at Lamar made feel like I was going to be a part of a family, which I now am.”

Frenchwood is one of the six newcomers on the squad, joining the seven returnees. Starting all three games at point guard, he is averaging 6.3 points a game and three steals.

“Everything is going great,” he said. “We just had a really big upset (Nov. 16) against highly ranked Oregon state. That win is just a small stepping stone for the many more accomplishments that we are going to have this season.”

In a press conference introducing the players at the beginning of the season, Coach Price said highlighted Frenchwood’s experience as one of his strengths.

“Joey brings leadership skills to our team that we sorely needed,” he said.

Frenchwood said his focus is on the team.

“It’s not about me statistically,” he said. “I could average 10 points a game and (if) we are still losing, who will that benefit? Anyone can play on the court just to shoot. One person will not win us this game.

“I would rather be a key contributor on a winning team, rather than be a star on a bad team.”

Frenchwood said the LU basketball squad has one goal — to win the Southland Conference.

“Your ceiling is as high as you make it,” he said. “We are talented enough to win so why not win them all.”

Sable Hankins

UP contributor

Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

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