BEAUMONT, Texas — After missing the second half of the 2019 season due to an injury, Lamar senior T.J. Atwood was determined more than ever to prove he was one of the best in the Southland Conference.
"It was really just trying to prove to myself that I could comeback even better than before," Atwood said. "I think about those games that I missed and how different it could have been."
Atwood would bounce back this season and become the driving force behind the Cardinals late season run where they advanced to the Southland Conference tournament and opened against rival McNeese.
"If we didn't come with it the whole 40 minutes, they were going to be moving on and we were going to be sent home early," Atwood said. "I've never seen our team more hungry and focused. We played our butts off that game and had fun."
The Cardinals would knock out the Cowboys in the first round but not get the opportunity to challenge Nicholls State due to the cancellation of the Southland Conference tournament because of COVID-19.
Though Atwood's college career ended abruptly, for Lamar head coach Tic Price, he knows we haven't seen the last of this Beaumont native.
"With T.J., he was one of the classiest guys I ever coached," Price said. "I felt bad for him but I also told him the best is yet to come."
While Atwood continues to ponder his next move, he will always do what's best for him and his family.
"My number one priority is them," Atwood said. "I want to be able to take care of them one day. I do think I can still play whether it's overseas or America. But anywhere I think I can grow as a better person and a better player."