Many kids contemplate the possibility of being a Razorback in their home state of Arkansas. Few actually get to live out that dream. And then there are those who have enough talent that they actually get to choose which kind of Razorback they want to be. Enter Stephen Cox from Jonesboro, Arkansas.
After making all-state two seasons in a row in high school golf, Stephen became a member of the Arkansas golf team in ’06-07. In 2007, he played 13 rounds in five tournaments before switching to basketball. That’s right, basketball.
Cox walked onto the Razorback b-ball court for the ’07-08 season and ended up playing in 10 games while garnering plenty of applause from the crowd every time he checked in. He was instantly accepted by not only Razorback fans but also by head coach John Pelphrey who put him on scholarship for this season.
Stephen was cool enough to answer a few questions for the Fayetteville Flyer.
Fayetteville Flyer: What’ve you been listening to lately?
Stephen Cox: Frank Sinatra. “New York New York” has to be one of the best of all times. Also, Kanye West. He is very talented with his music.
FF: You’ve been in Fayetteville for a few years now. Honestly, how do you like it here?
SC: Fayetteville is a great city with many wonderful people. The people of Fayetteville are extremely supportive of our basketball team and we are very grateful for that.
FF: Did you or any other golfers you knew ever look up to Arkansas native John Daly or is he too much of a weirdo?
SC: I have always had a huge amount of respect for John Daly’s career. John has won two major titles. Winning majors are very rare and extremely hard to come by for any one individual. John is a very talented person. I pull for him everytime he tees it up.
FF: Between basketball, golf and a little bit of high school track, it’s pretty obvious you enjoy a lot of traditional sports. Ever tried any X-Games style stuff? Skateboarding? BMX?
SC: No. I have always stuck with the traditional sports.
FF: You walked on in 2008 but earned a scholarship for this season. Nice job, man. How does it feel to be one of only five returning guys?
SC: I am very thankful to have had Coach Pelphrey put me on scholarship.Being one of the few returnees is special. We are here to provide leadership to the freshman in anyway possible.
FF: You had a sweet steal in the NCAA Tournament game against #1 North Carolina last year. Tell us, is Tyler Hansbrough as goofy-looking in person as he is on TV?
SC: Psycho T is a bit goofy looking but he plays with an unbelievable amount of passion on every play and he is able to sustain that level throughout the entire game which makes him one of the best players in college basketball.
FF: What did your friends and family think of you coming to Fayetteville instead of A-State? Side note: Do you know any ASU fans or do you not hang out with those types?
SC: I don’t think anyone was too surprised. As a little kid, I grew up coming to the football games and always wanted to be a part of the Razorback Family. Also, my entire family attended the U of A so I don’t think I had much of a choice, ha ha.
FF: Speaking of Jonesboro, which way to you drive when you go back and forth? There’s like five ways and none of them are fast.
SC: I usually take I-540 down to Alma and then hop on I-40 to Conway and get off there and cut through Vilonia into Beebe and then hop on US 67 which will take me into Newport. Once I get there it’s back roads (US 49) all the way home to Jonesboro.
FF: What’s the coolest thing you got for Christmas?
SC: A trip to Jonesboro to spend some time with mom, dad, Weston and Uncle John before having to come back up on Christmas Day for practice.
FF: Finally, what are your expectations for the Hogs this season? You guys have already surprised a lot of folks. SEC Tourney? NCAA Tourney?
SC: To overachieve. We must play hard and have an unbelievable attitude and everything will take care of itself.