I wish Beas Hamga the best of luck. I hope he becomes an all-conference basketball player and earns his college degree and has a wonderful and productive life.
But first, he and those around him need to grasp a large dose of reality.
The former UNLV center has transferred to Valparaiso, where coaches better hope all the upside those at UNLV envisioned eventually shines through.
At this point, UNLV coaches missed badly on Hamga, who never came close to demonstrating the promise so hyped upon his arrival.
I don’t know about you, but it worries me when a 7-footer has the vertical leap of a scorpion.
Maybe that changes. Maybe Hamga is a slow learner with more athletic skill than ever was apparent at UNLV. Either way, his AAU coach/guardian needs to stop insinuating the issue here was anything more than Hamga’s lack of talent.
“Beas really hit it off with the (Valparaiso) players and the coaches on his visit,” Mark Adams told Rivals this week. “After the way things worked out at UNLV, the trust factor with Homer Drew was the key. Beas felt that Valparaiso was a sure thing for him as far as fitting in with the players and being able to contribute on the court.”
After the way things worked out at UNLV?
Look, it’s pretty simple: As of today, the kid can’t compete at this level with any sort of consistent success. He isn’t good enough. That could change. I hope it does.
Until then, be glad someone else is giving him a chance. Coaches trust those who prove themselves on the court. That's why it is called major college basketball.
You either can hack it or not.
MY MWC PICK FOR TONIGHT
TCU (plus-14) at Brigham Young: What is the one thing to bring down a team coming off a huge win like TCU following its pasting of UNLV? A little trip into the lair of doom, where high-scoring Cougars have been known to send upstart teams back to reality. PICK: BYU
Conference record vs. spread: 2-2.
HOPING FOR A HAPPY ENDING
When I interviewed Bill Bayno for a column in Los Angeles last April, I was certain good times where ahead for the former UNLV basketball coach.
Sadly, Bayno hadn’t completely rid himself of a few tormenting demons. He officially resigned as head coach at Loyola Marymount on Monday after initially leaving the team in November for stress-related reasons.
Bayno is like all of us. Flawed. But he has a heart bigger than most. Everyone around Bayno insist this has nothing to do with him falling off the wagon and back into a world of addiction. That’s a good thing.
Hopefully, time and rest will allow a good man to finally know some long-term peace.