NORMAN, Okla. -- Once a week until the beginning of the fall semester in mid-August, SoonerSports.com will introduce a new member of the OU men's basketball team. This week's feature subject is 6-10, 196-pound freshman Jamuni McNeace (first name pronounced juh-MUN-ee).
Spending his youth bouncing back and forth between his native state of Illinois and Texas, McNeace is relatively new to the game of basketball. As a 5-10 guard, he was cut from the freshman hoops team at Allen High School before moving back to Illinois the summer before his sophomore year.
McNeace played on the Kankakee High School junior varsity and varsity squads as a sophomore, the same year he sprouted to 6-7. He returned to Allen High School the next summer and played for former Norman High School coach Jeff McCullough as a junior and senior. Last year McNeace averaged 9.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game while helping the Eagles to a 27-9 record and an appearance in Texas 5A state semifinals. He was regarded as the nation's 25th-best center by 247Sports.
Understanding he still has much to learn about the game and acknowledging that redshirting this year is a possibility, the slender-but-athletic McNeace said the adjustment to big-time college basketball has tested him (the Sooners are going through two hours of on court workouts and multiple weightlifting sessions per week during summer school). But he's appreciative of the way his new teammates are helping him through the process.
"They've taken me under their wing," said McNeace, who boasts a 7-foot-4 wingspan and is the tallest player on the team. "Everyone's just trying to help me become a better player. My teammates are what I like most about OU. We're family."
Learn more about McNeace in the embedded video above and in the following Q&A.
GET TO KNOW JAMUNI McNEACE
Shoe Size: 15
Roommate: Khadeem Lattin
Three Words That Describe Me: goofy, energetic, happy
Favorite Food: pasta
Favorite Late Night Snack: beef noodles
Meal I Prepare Most Often: chicken alfredo
Most Memorable Sports Moment: my first varsity game as a sophomore
Prized Possession: poster made by my cousin for my first playoff game my junior year
Favorite Spot on Campus: my bed
Favorite TV Show: "Family Guy"
Movie Character I'd Like to Play: Superman
Celebrity Crush: Katy Perry
Biggest Fear: darkness
Best Non-Athletic Talent: installing custom firmware on electronics
Favorite Sports Movie: "Air Bud"
Favorite Non-Sports Movie: "The Dark Knight"
Best Sports Talent Besides Basketball: football (played tight end/defensive end sophomore year)
Favorite Pro Athlete: Dwight Howard
Favorite NBA Team: Houston Rockets
Favorite Non-NBA Pro Team: Denver Broncos (big Peyton Manning fan)
Focus This Summer: getting stronger
I Don't Know What I'd Do Without: my dad
Favorite Musical Artist: Drake
Favorite Website: Twitter.com
Advice to Youngsters: "Don't give up; be persistent."