Vols’ Basketball players who tried their luck with football

#27

amaralfan1

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#27
Weird thought at 2:30 in the morning, I admit. But... what Tennessee basketball players have tried their luck on the football field at Tennessee?

I remember when Stanley Asumnu did. And there’s one other one that I remember from the last couple of decades but his name escapes me. Anyone?
Stanley Asumnu is the one I remember the most. Tons of football players really enjoy playing basketball in their free time though. I worked at TRECS/HPER from 2004-2006 and there were some really talented football players with great basketball skills. Robert Meachum was fantastic (and I always had to tell him to stop dunking on our courts). Ironically my first day working for UT REC was the day a football player assaulted a kid on one of the courts. I spent my first shift cleaning up blood.
 
#29
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#29
I think there was a basketball player (Robinson?) who played at least preseason NFL as a kick returner. Probably 70s. Not sure if he was drafted or not.
He was Larry Robinson. I think he was Captain in "73 or "74, and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. Played kick returner. About 6'5, 225 pounds, which at the time was a heck of an athlete. I played a pickup game one day with him and Mike Jackson and Lenny Kosmalski . Blocked one of his shots, and he smiled. Later he blocked me, ball and all out of bounds - asked if I was OK, and told me never to block one of his shots again.

I didn't call the foul.

Go Vols
 
#31

WBO

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#31
Larry Robinson was a real physical specimen. He was a solid player who never seemed to make a bad play and therefore teased you thinking that he could do much more, but he always stayed within his game. He had a nice 12-15 foot jumper where he would pop out to the foul line when the defenses would drop down to stop a very good 7 foot Lenny Kosmalski. He probably was a 70-80% shooter with that but he was never the #1 option.

Dallas Cowboys drafted him hoping that he could reproduce what had happened with Cornell Green a BB player who they made into a DB and who was all-pro. But Robinson was a power forward and too big to play corner so they tried safety which seemed a natural fit, but he couldn't pick up the complexity of Tom Landry's defenses having not played the position before and he didn't want the level of contact that a guy his size could generate under the old rules.. They tried TE but that didn't work either. He did return kickoffs in the preseason.

The best one is Ron Widby who was an excellent BB player and had a long NFL career as a punter. He was 2nd team All-American and SEC player of the year at UT leading the Vols to an SEC championship in his senior year at a time when Kentucky was dominant under Rupp (BTW the NCAA tournament had only 16 teams so there were no at-large bids available for 2nd place conference teams no matter how good they were). Widby even played a year or two for the New Orleans franchise of the ABA. He punted for the Cowboys for several years then went to the Packers.
 
#32

WBO

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#32
He was Larry Robinson. I think he was Captain in "73 or "74, and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. Played kick returner. About 6'5, 225 pounds, which at the time was a heck of an athlete. I played a pickup game one day with him and Mike Jackson and Lenny Kosmalski . Blocked one of his shots, and he smiled. Later he blocked me, ball and all out of bounds - asked if I was OK, and told me never to block one of his shots again.

I didn't call the foul.

Go Vols
Interesting story. Robinson and Jackson weren't in school at the same time so he must have come back to finish his degree. I played a lot of pick-up back then. I got schooled so badly by Rodney Woods one day that I tore the ligaments in my right ankle. Used my best move and when I spun for the shot he was still right in my face. Went for a prayer under move and it popped. They pulled me off to the side of the court and calmly turned to the observers saying "need one." Campus security took me to UT Hospital for the cast I had to wear for 6 weeks. Damn ankle still pops out occasionally.
 
#35

TNREADER

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#35
Don't think this story about Ron Widby was mentioned in this thread, but at least one year, and maybe two, he and John Ward flew between football bowl game and a basketball game. In 1965 it was the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston and a basketball tournament in Shreveport, LA.

Although he only played football at UT on the freshman team, Bill Justus was a high school quarterback and came to UT on a football scholarship, and remained on a football scholarship.
 
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#36

1972 Grad

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#36
Don't think this story about Ron Widby was mentioned in this thread, but at least one year, and maybe two, he and John Ward flew between football bowl game and a basketball game. In 1965 it was the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston and a basketball tournament in Shreveport, LA.

Although he only played football at UT on the freshman team, Bill Justus was a high school quarterback and came to UT on a football scholarship, and remained on a football scholarship.
I saw Justus play qb in high school for the Fulton Falcons and basketball at U.T.
 
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#37
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#37
So, the best basketball/football combo guys, at UT, came from my alma mater, Fulton ? Yeah, I can see that. IIrc, the last kid that was KIL Sophomore of the Year (News-Sentinal award, may no longer exist) in both basketball and football was also another Fulton kid, Ivan Roper, in 1989/'90. I always heard Alvin Harper and Carl Pickens probably could have played both, if they had the opportunity or chose to
 
#39

WBO

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#39
Don't think this story about Ron Widby was mentioned in this thread, but at least one year, and maybe two, he and John Ward flew between football bowl game and a basketball game. In 1965 it was the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston and a basketball tournament in Shreveport, LA.

Although he only played football at UT on the freshman team, Bill Justus was a high school quarterback and came to UT on a football scholarship, and remained on a football scholarship.
I know one year the Widby led Vols played in a 4 team BB tournament that was affiliated with the Sugar Bowl.

Justus was a great defensive player. Mears would put him on Pete Maravich when UT played LSU and I believe Justus always held him below half of his normal scoring average.
 
#40

TNREADER

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#40
Justus was a great defensive player. Mears would put him on Pete Maravich when UT played LSU and I believe Justus always held him below half of his normal scoring average.
Maravich averaged over 44 points per game in college (without 3 point shot). Never scored more than 21 against Justus (held to 17 one time).
 

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