Sims ready to pen final chap­ter of an up-and-down Hoyas ca­reer

The Washington Times Daily - - Weather - BY TODD JONES

COLUM­BUS, OHIO | Ma­jor­ing in English has taught Henry Sims the value of rewrit­ing, so the Ge­orge­town se­nior ap­pre­ci­ates what has oc­curred in his final sea­son of bas­ket­ball with the Hoyas.

Sims was de­ter­mined to change his per­cep­tion as an un­der­achiever and not only be­come the player that oth­ers ex­pected, but, more im­por­tantly, morph into who he knew he could be.

“It’s been a long, long four years,” the 6-foot-10, 245-pound cen­ter said. “It took a long time, and it took some grow­ing up to do, be­fore I could get to this point. It


GE­ORGE­TOWN VS. BEL­MONT Fri­day: TV: Ra­dio:

LOY­OLA vs. OHIO STATE RE­CAP: wash­ing­ton­ feels good to have that bur­den off my back and just play bas­ket­ball.”

Sims is play­ing bet­ter than he ever has at Ge­orge­town as the No. 3-seeded Hoyas (23-8) en­ter their open­ing NCAA tour­na­ment game Fri­day against No. 14 Bel­mont (277) at Na­tion­wide Arena.

“I think he re­al­ized that the end was near in terms of his days at Ge­orge­town,” Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. “I think his fo­cus, at­ten­tion to de­tail and his work ethic were much bet­ter this year, and he has seen the re­sults.”

Sims to­taled 42 points, 28 re­bounds, eight as­sists and three blocked shots in Ge­orge­town’s two Big East tour­na­ment games last week against Pitts­burgh and Cincin­nati. He’s av­er­ag­ing ca­reer highs in points (11.7), re­bounds (6.2), as­sists (3.5) and blocks (1.4).

His im­prove­ment is a big rea­son why Ge­orge­town plans to do some rewrit­ing of its own against the up­start Bru­ins, the At­lantic Sun Con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons mak­ing their fifth NCAA tour­na­ment ap­pear­ance in the past seven


The Hoyas haven’t won an NCAA tour­na­ment game since 2008. They lost in the round of 64 last year to VCU and to Ohio two years ago. They fell to David­son in the 2009 round of 32.

“It’s in the past,” Sims said. “This is a new group of kids, new team, and we’re de­ter­mined just to not let that hap­pen again.”

Ge­orge­town’s stout perime­ter de­fense will be key Fri­day against Bel­mont, but so is the play of Sims against an un­der­sized Bru­ins team.

“He presents a prob­lem for us,” said Mick Hedgepeth, the Bru­ins’ 6-9 se­nior cen­ter.

Sims had his own prob­lems to deal with en­ter­ing his se­nior sea­son with ca­reer av­er­ages of 2.4 points and 2.1 re­bounds.

“The last three years, peo­ple thought I was just wast­ing a schol­ar­ship,” Sims said. “It was painful to go through that for three years, not liv­ing up to what I knew I could do. I had peo­ple chirp­ing about me, and it def­i­nitely hurt me.”

Sims re­turned home to Bal­ti­more last sum­mer and stayed longer than usual to work on his game and soak up the wis­dom of his mother, Brenda.

“She told me this is your last goaround,” Sims re­called. “She said you don’t want to look back and say I wish I would have worked harder and would­have, could-have. She ba­si­cally put ev­ery­thing into per­spec­tive. I con­trolled my destiny.”

Sims main­tained his fo­cus when he re­turned to Ge­orge­town for his se­nior sea­son.

“Some kids, it takes a while for the light to go off,” Thompson said.

Rewrit­ing, how­ever, can be re­fresh­ing.

“I fi­nally feel like my­self as a bas­ket­ball player,” Sims said.


Cen­ter Henry Sims is av­er­ag­ing ca­reer highs in points (11.7), re­bounds (6.2) and blocks (1.4) this sea­son.

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