Friday, 24 February 2012
Worcester Wolves star Tommy Freeman has garnered the outstanding honour of being named as February’s Molten BBL Player of the Month.
As well as producing some stunning contributions on the court for the Wolves, Freeman is still managing to find time to hit the books while studying for his International Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of Worcester.
Since their formation in 2000, the Wolves have enjoyed a long association with the University, giving the chance for players to benefit academically at the same time as furthering their basketball careers. This is the first time that a Wolves student-athlete has achieved such a high award.
Mick Donovan, Head of Institute of Sport & Exercise Science at the University feels Freeman is proof of the benefits that the Wolves partnership with the University brings to both parties, saying:
“We have been committed to developing study and play opportunities with the Wolves and the University of Worcester for many years and we are extremely proud that one of our students and a leading Wolves player has achieved this level of recognition from Molten and the BBL. Tommy is an excellent role model for both existing students and youngsters who aspire to study and play at University in the future.”
A hugely influential figure during the most successful season ever for the Wolves, Freeman was the top scorer in the BBL during February as he showcased his considerable offensive threat by pouring in an average of over 28 points per game.
The threat that Freeman poses to opponents from long distance is underlined by his making 17 of 35 three-point attempts, producing a near 50 per cent average. In addition to his scoring prowess, he averaged four rebounds per game and nearly four assists per game.
Speaking about his recent performances, Freeman is typically downbeat about how much he has contributed:
“I want to help my team in any way I can, and in putting numbers on the board. I’ve been spending extra time in the gym and it’s paying off. In my list of priorities studying has always come before basketball. When presented with the opportunity to work towards earning my Master's I jumped at it. I needed that challenge back in my life and since I started attending classes again I have been playing some of the best ball of my life. The classroom and the court are the two places I feel most comfortable. I can escape my problems and worries and focus on the task at hand. Whether it is exploring emerging technology in business or knocking down free throws these two places are sanctuaries to me. While there is more to balance with homework and training I see it as a challenge that I embrace. I attack each with the same mindset and am thankful for the opportunity I have to continue my education while playing the game that I love.”
Head Coach Paul James is running out of ways to praise his rookie forward:
“This is a very exciting time for the Worcester Wolves and the University of Worcester, a milestone moment and I’m sure a BBL first. Tommy is living proof that the study and play programme developed can and is working at the highest level in this country. Tommy is not only a fantastic talent to have on the team who has helped the Wolves achieve their best ever season to date, but also an excellent example of how the study and play opportunities can work for our student athletes and help to raise the playing quality both of our BBL and university basketball programmes.”
If all the other aspects of Freeman’s performance were not enough on their own to cause headaches for opposing players, then trying to stop his attacks by fouling will be severely punished. Freeman posted an impeccable 40 of 40 shots from the free-throw line during February. In relation to this Freeman remarked:
“I look at the free-throw stats at the end of each month and up to now have been disappointed to miss just one or two. I’ve been seriously gunning to not miss a single shot, and we’ll just have to see how long I can keep this going.”