D'Andre Bell - Profile
How important was it to come back and play this year?
“Basketball is bigger than me. I felt I had a commitment to uphold. I love the school. I love the coaching staff and my teammates. I just wanted to fulfill my last year. I just wanted to be able to look myself in the mirror and say I did all I could.”
What are you studying now?
“I’m studying LCC (Literature, Culture, and Communications). It’s more of the artistic side. I’ve already graduated. This is something that interests me. I write lyrics and poetry. I’m interested in doing a little bit of producing. I’m in a mixing and recording class and things of that nature.”
Is it fun now that you have your degree?
“It’s fun but at the same time all I think about is basketball. I just want to play. I just want to relax, get time to myself, get my mentality right, and just play basketball. That isn’t going to happen as I have a twelve credit requirement.”
Were there any teammates or coaches that you were close to after the diagnosis?
“No, I was in no man's land. With my personality I don’t see myself having a better relationship with one person or another. I’m a people person. I love everybody the same. It was what it was. Whatever I felt emotionally; someone might have happened to be there.”
How special is it to come back to a team with this kind of talent?
“It’s great. All I’ve ever wanted to do is win. I think out of all the years, this is going to be one of the best opportunities.”
Do you like embracing the role as the leader?
“Yes sir, it’s in my blood. It’s natural ever since I was younger. It’s taxing and you have to be in shape in order to do that.”
How much of a challenge has it been to get back to where you are now?
“It’s been very tough. I don’t know how to really describe it. Mentally and physically it’s something you really have to love in order to do it.”
Do you feel you’re just about all the way back now?
“I honestly don’t know where I’m at. Some days I feel invincible and some days I’m like what the heck is going on.”
Did you go through any of that in previous seasons?
“Being in college is a process. I always felt myself getting better year to year. I don’t know. I’ve never been through this. Each and every year has been different. I’ve worked on a different aspect of my game each year. I was in much better shape. Coming back from this I’m just leaning on faith.”
What was it like when the team walked into your room prior to your surgery?
“The emotions I felt when they walked into the room; I’m getting goose bumps now. It was one of the best feelings I’ve had in my life. It was pretty emotional”