by Adam Gonzales, UA Communication Services
As the only senior on the basketball team, Jordin Mayes will garner all the attention after the Stanford game on March 2. Hundreds of memories of the past four years will be running through his head as he receives his framed jersey in front of his teammates, coaches, and thousands of Wildcat faithful. He will think about how much he has grown up since coming to Tucson four years ago.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here very much,” Mayes said. “You grow up a lot and experience a lot of things here that you’ve never experienced.”
A moment that sticks out in his head was during his freshman year on the night of February 19th, 2011, the first White Out.
“A game that I will always remember was the first White Out game with Derrick Williams,” Mayes said. “All the fans were in white and it was just so loud. The atmosphere was amazing.”
When asked about his favorite memory, the senior did not hesitate when he said his entire freshman year.
“My best memory is probably my freshman year,” Mayes said. “It was a great season, getting to the Elite Eight and winning the last Pac-10 Championship. Hopefully this season we can exceed that by winning the Pac-12, winning the Pac-12 tournament and getting to the Final Four and the national championship.”
Mayes was a part of Sean Miller’s second recruiting class, so he is one of the few players in the past few years that only played for Coach Miller for all four years.
“We’ve had our ups and downs on and off the court at times,” Mayes said. “He has stayed with me all four years and has always encouraged me and trusted me. It has been a growing experience that I had to get through leading up to my senior year. It was just staying positive and staying focused, and trying to do everything possible I can do.”
From high school to college, they will all tell you that their four years playing on a team goes by so quickly, and that you really have to cherish the time you get with your teammates and coaches.
“It went by pretty fast. As a senior, I’m now one of the oldest guys on the team and it’s a weird transition from being the youngest to the oldest that fast.”
Mayes has been able to experience something that most college basketball players don’t experience, continued success as a team. As a freshman, the team made a deep run into the tournament by ending up in the Elite Eight and losing to the eventual national champion Connecticut. Mayes played a big role in the success of the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament that year. In the second round against Texas, he scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 4-of-4 from three-point range.
“Playing college basketball, you want to play on the biggest stages,” Mayes said. “Doing well in the tournament is every college basketball player’s dream.”
The senior knows that the most important part of the season is still to come, but he already knows what he is going to miss when it is all said and done.
“I’m going to miss being around a great group of guys,” Mayes said. “We all want the same thing of playing at a high level and getting to the Final Four and winning the national championship. That’s the main thing I’m going to miss.”