Wednesday March 4, 2009
AIKEN,SC--Tuesday USC Aiken's Chris commons won his second straight conference player of the year award. Three short years ago, Commons wasn't playing ball, but sitting in a jail cell.
Confident and happy, just two words to describe USC Aiken's Chris Commons these days. That wasn't always the case.
"My life is over, McDonald's, Burger King, what applications can I get" said Chris Commons "Everyone who tried to support me, I just had a negative attitude, like I didn't want to come back, I didn't want to play ball."
You see Commons began his playing career in 2004 in Ohio, but in January 2006, he wasn't on a basketball court, but in a court of law pleading no contest to two counts of armed robbert, a crime he says he didn't commit. Three years later, he's back playing the game he loves.
"I learned a lot of lessons, I've been through a lot of tough stuff and to be where I'm at now, I'm blessed." added Commons
Many coaches wouldn't take a chance on bringing commons in after his stint in jail, but Vince Alexander didn't hesitate.
"It wasn't about him just being a good player, it was really more about what I saw in him, the potential" said coach Vince Alexander "Also the fact that I wanted to give him the chance, I wanted to see him prove a lot of people wrong."
"It shows a lot on his behalf, you know, be a good person, like almost a saint" added Commons
Commons has been an all-star on the court for the Pacers, averaging 20 points and earning all-conference first team two years in a row. Now it's off the court where he really shines
"He's a very intelligant young man and a lot of people don't know that kid is a very caring young man. He spends a lot of time in our community speaking at schools, churches, and a lot of other things. He's a very compassionate kid." said coach Alexander
Now Commons cloudy past is turning into a clear future. The senior is on track to graduate and over the next few weeks will lead his team in their quest for a national title.
"I guess I just learned to be thankfull" added the senior "Not just for my second chance for basketball, not just about being happy about a win or a loss, but also being happy about people who come out here and support you every night."
After USC Aiken, Commons' basketball future probably will be overseas playing pro ball. For now, all he's worried about is graduating to make his mom happy.