Miners Debut Season With Names on Jerseys
Through the storied history of UTEP men's basketball, Rodney Terry and his staff will unveil a new tweak to the team's uniform, as the Miners host UT Permian Basin tonight at 7 p.m.
Players will have their names on the back of their jerseys this season, which came as a pleasant surprise to the returning players on the team that never had this before with UTEP.
"My parents are definitely a big fan of it," said senior forward Paul Thomas. "It's a big change and it's been something I've been looking forward to since I got here. I like it. I think it'll give the players a little more sense of pride."
Terry's reasoning behind the jersey names in the back had an intricate meaning to it.
"We will always play for what's on the front of the jersey [UTEP]," Terry said. "You have to respect what's on the back and where it comes and where you came from. I think it always helps. Everywhere I’ve come, it’s always great for the fans to have recognition for who it is. I think that’s a positive thing."
Being named as the program's 19th head coach in UTEP men's basketball history, Terry respects the history behind the Miners and wants to build upon it.
"It’s a privilege to be here and to be a head coach of this program," he said. "We have our names on the back of our jerseys and for the name in front of our jersey... [We] better bring it every single night. They’re going to respect your name. You’ve got to come in and build upon that. We need to instill that in our players."
"Now we’re trying to teach our guys to win," Terry continued. "The Don is a great basketball venue. Could be one of the most difficult places to play in the country."
For sophomore guard Kobe Magee, having his name on the back of his jersey meant a lot for the returnees and is ready to show it off to the El Paso crowd.
"It’s cool. We didn't have that last year, so all the guys are excited about that," Magee said. "Evan [Gilyard], Paul and I were talking about it. It looks good though."
As the nerves settle in for pregame antics, the team is thrilled to play a game that actually counts toward their season.
"I'm feeling good. We’ve improved tremendously since our scrimmage against Grand Canyon," Thomas said. "We're constantly improving every time we're out there."
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Haskins Center.