Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hooten: A little more about me

I just wanted to catch you up on who I am and where I’m from. I was born and raised in the Central Texas city of Killeen. Killeen is known for neighboring the largest army base in the world, Ft. Hood. Although my life consisted of military friends and nights of lying in bed listening to bombs going off, my family was/is not military.

I come from a very athletic family. My father played baseball for 1 semester at Sam Houston State, and then transferred to Tarleton State to play baseball but only stayed there 1 semester. Now that I look back, it's kind of weird that he went to school at both places I’ve worked, just reverse order. He really didn't like college so he moved back home and ran my grandfather's Texaco gas station.

After meeting and marrying my mother, he went to work for a construction company for the next 30 years. Got to work around 5am every morning and off at 6pm for 30 years. Probably missed a hand full of days in 30-plus years and those were to come see me play ball! That's kind of who I am, get up no matter what every day and go punch the clock.

My uncle was a great pitcher at Blinn JC and then transferred to Rice where he had a tremendous career. Killeen, Texas was a rough and tough city. I was a good baseball player growing up and everyone just knew that this would be my ticket. Somewhere around my junior year in high school basketball started to become really important to me. Not sure if the years of constant baseball and expectations just got to be dull.

Basketball was exciting, fast paced, and something that no one expected me to excel in. My junior summer was the first time UIL would allow summer league basketball to take place. We went up to Waco, 1hr, once a week and played in a very competitive league. College coaches could attend the games and I will never forget the feeling I got knowing those guys were watching us play. I still believe to this day that the rush and excitement I got from that summer is what led me to continue playing basketball and enjoying recruiting as much as I do.

From there I had to choose between playing baseball or basketball in college. I obviously chose the basketball route and looking back it's the reason I am where I am today. I ended up at McLennan Community College and played for a tremendous coach named Ken DeWeese (he is now the Head Coach at Mary-Hardin Baylor who is on our schedule next season).

In my second year at MCC an assistant coach from Houston Baptist walked in the gym one day to come see a player they had put into MCC. That guy’s name was Bob Marlin. Isn't it weird how small of a world we live in. After my 2 years at MCC I transferred to, at the time a small NAIA school, Tarleton State University. Played on 2 championship teams and after a year of doing my student teaching/part-time assistant coaching at Weatherford JC for my former high school coach, I went back to Tarleton State as an assistant coach at the ripe age of 23.

In August of 1993 I signed my contract to be an assistant coach, teach four classes and be the head tennis coach, LOL, not even going to say for how much $. Oh and I almost forgot, my boss was not only the head basketball coach, but also the AD! I walked in that office the first day, he tossed me a phone card and a couple of scouting services and said we need to bring in 3 players, and you got about 2 weeks to do it. That's where it all got started!

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