Jan. 6, 2006
By Hilary Gainer
When a person leaves home and comes to college, there can many difficult adjustments. The hardest of these for many is leaving behind family and lifelong friends. But walk into any Ole Miss basketball practice and you would never know that this group of guys is away from home.
"We try to be a family ... a home away from home," says Rebel head coach Rod Barnes.
Freshman Trey Hampton was welcomed into the family the first day he was in Oxford. "Right away I was a part of the family," says Hampton.
Coach Barnes says the team adopts each other, they become a support system for one another, just like the families all of these guys have left behind.
Hampton, a 6-foot-7 forward from Hoover, Ala., says there is one big thing that made him want to play for the Rebels.
"I came here because it was the best fit for me," says Hampton. "Coach Barnes is a religious man and that really touched me and my family."
Hampton expresses a huge amount of respect for his head coach. "Coach Barnes, that's a good dude. He gets the most out of you. He makes sure that there is no question you are ready every night."
The admiration is reciprocated from Barnes. "Trey is a special kid. Outside of basketball I enjoy being around him. If we can have the next three years be like the beginning of this one, I am really going to miss him."
Raised in the Deep South, Hampton says he has been waiting a long time to be a part of the Southeastern Conference.
"You grow up watching college basketball and then you look up and you're finally here," he says. "Personally, I want to help the team anyway I can. I just want to win."
Coach Barnes thinks that Hampton will definitely be an asset to the team in years to come.
"I think Trey's really going to contribute athletically," says Barnes. "We have a big need at the forward position, and Trey helps fill that."
Hampton, a Liberal Arts Major, says going to school and playing basketball has been his biggest challenge so far. "It's the hardest part about being a student athlete. There's a lot of work, I'm making it though."
"Making it" is as a family is what the Rebel basketball team does. A family that supports and encourages each other. And one that is going to come together to win.
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