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Eugene Edgerson Rejoins Wildcats
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 16, 2001
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TUCSON, Ariz. Senior forward Eugene Edgerson has rejoined the University of Arizona men's basketball team after sitting out the last two games.

The 6-foot-6 native of New Orleans, La., issued the following statement after being given last week off for self-evaluation:

"Those people who truly know me such as family members, fraternity brothers, friends and teammates know that I'm not out to just get my share. For one to say, "I'm out to just get mine" is a very ignorant statement. I'm a tough competitor who loves to play the game of basketball. Just like any true competitor, I want to play the entire game. However, I understand that I'm not "running the show" and way deep inside, I respect Coach Ros' decision to play me as he sees fit. Losing doesn't sit too well with me. The team has great potential, but it is my job to help them realize it. Since I've had some time away from basketball, I find that my frustration hasn't been about my individual performance. I believe our team needs a greater sense of urgency. As a senior member of the team and a veteran player, I see it as my responsibility to motivate the rest of the team so we can live up to our individual talents. The intangible things that I bring such as Wildcat pride, heart, hustle, energy, leadership and integrity is much more important than the minutes I play.

"As a co-captain chosen by my teammates, it is my job to get the guys fired up to play to the best of their abilities, not only come game time, but in practice also. Frankly, I haven't gotten the job done as a leader, which has been a specialty of mine in the past. Life surely isn't fair! Our team's struggles, Coach O's situation, along with the fact that the "real world" is right around the corner for me, has been quite a lot to juggle. The collegiate experience has been the best time of my life, yet very challenging, and it's finally coming to an end.

"I'm very thankful for the time that Coach Ros has given me away from the team. Over the past week, I've realized that it is not my role to score 20 points per game or play upwards of 30 minutes, but it is to keep the fire burning for the guys that do. As a member of our 1997 National Championship team, I plan on relating to my teammates that the college basketball season is very long and that even by losing a few games early, we still have the ability ot achieve greatness. We are just four games into our Pac-10 schedule and have 14 more to prove to the country that our team has the talent and chemistry to win a National Championship."

Edgerson and the No. 17 Wildcats return to action on Thursday, Jan. 18, when the squad hosts No. 24 USC. Tip-off in McKale Center is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MST and will be televised on Fox Sports Net.

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