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By the Numbers: Courtney Eldridge

Published: Monday, February 4, 2002

Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010 09:01

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Name: Courtney Tyrone Eldridge Classification: Senior Position: Guard Height: 5’9″ Weight: 180 Hometown: Boston, MA Major: Finance Favorite Color: Red Favorite NBA Player: Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics 1998-Present) Favorite Video game: NBA 2K2 for Sega Dreamcast Most memorable UNCG Basketball moment: Winning the 2001 Southern Conference Tournament against University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Honors and Awards: 2001 First Team All Southern Conference (Coaches and Media), 2001 First Team Southern Conference All Tournament Team, Currently (as of 1/27.02) Ranked 9th in the Nation and 1st in the SoCon in steals, 23rd in the nation and 3rd in the conference in assists, UNCG All-Time leader in steals, 2nd All-Time leader in assists, and 5th All-Time Leading Scorer

Anyone who watches Courtney Eldridge on the court recognizes that he has a talent for the game of basketball, and anyone who meets him off the court, cannot help but want to be his friend.

The fascinating thing about Courtney Eldridge is that the two sides of the coin appear to seamlessly work together, with neither taking control when they are not supposed to. Basketball is a big part of his life, but Eldridge is careful to not let it be the only thing. I sat down last week and talked to Courtney Eldridge, not just about basketball, but also about life.

Despite the fact that Eldridge played basketball and football in high school, and set records in both, he says he knew from the start that he wanted to play basketball in college and turned away recruiters from several schools trying to entice him to join their football squads. When Eldridge visited the campus here at UNCG in October of 1997, he knew, “this was the place for me.”

Eldridge starts every game on the team and gives his all in the classroom on a daily basis, saying the worst thing about being a student athlete is, “It is very time consuming, and it is hard to balance your school work with everything and still graduate on time.” Eldridge is fortunate where some athletes are not in that he will be graduating this May with a degree in Finance.

For those of you out there in the land of the Bryan school, you might find it interesting to know that Eldridge lists Statistics 108 and Economics 250 among the favorite classes he’s taken here at UNCG. And for the probable numerous girls out there who have crushes on him, you will be very interested to know that he doesn’t stick with anything boring in the unmentionables department, and says (through a little bit of slightly embarrassed laughter) that he wears boxer briefs.

When most people think of tough athletes, they do not think “mama’s boy.” While Eldridge is far from that, he says that his pre-game superstition is that he has to talk to his mother. Eldridge says his mother is truly one of his best friends and that he looks to her a lot to help him deal with frustrations in life. He also mentioned that his mother comes down from Massachusetts at least once every year to see him play, and that this season she hopes to make it to senior night as well as to the Southern Conference Tournament in Charleston, S.C.

After being on the team for four years, Eldridge notes that our Spartans are honestly beginning to establish a home-court advantage over other teams that come to Fleming Gym to play. When asked if he noticed a difference just from last year to this season, Eldridge had this to say, “Definitely. We’re getting more people to the games. There is more school spirit. I think it’s wonderful, and I know that the more successful we are, the more the fan base will grow. And it’s good to see it growing, because when I first got here, it was little to none and now to see how far it’s come is great.”

Eldridge also noted with regards to the growth of the team, “Definitely going to the (NCAA) tournament last year had an effect. Getting Coach McCaffrey, the quality, and the caliber of the players that he has been able to recruit, and I think that the sky is the limit right now.”

Through his years here, Eldridge has consistently been a conscientious student, but he says that he does not plan to further his education after UNCG in favor of attempting to further his basketball career. Eldridge hopes to be invited to join NBA pre-draft camps and get his foot in the door to one-day play professionally.

While he admits that it is often frustrating when the team is not playing up to their potential on the court, Eldridge wisely says, “The beauty of the game is that you get to lace ’em up and play again. One or two games won’t destroy your season, but you have to learn from your mistakes so they won’t happen again.”

The beauty of Courtney Eldridge shows through in his personal dedication to the sport he loves, his family, and his education. He is the heart of the UNCG Spartans basketball squad and will undoubtedly be missed in his absence next year. For now, the best that we can hope for is that one of these days, we will see that familiar smiling face on a Wheaties box someday.

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