By Greg DeVries
Baylor basketball fans associate him with his beard. His teammates take note of his leadership abilities and intensity. While he may resemble King Leonidas, senior Quincy Acy draws his strength and leadership abilities from his family.
Quincy Acy was born in Tyler. For the majority of his life, Acy was raised by his mother, Renata King. He said his father was not in the picture very much.
“My mom and dad got a divorce when I was 3 or 4. We moved from Tyler to Dallas and I just didn’t have him. Whenever we would go back to Tyler to visit my grandmother, I would see him sometimes, but not all the time. He wasn’t really around,” Acy said.
Consequently, Acy and his mother are very close. She attends the games she is able to go to, but with a teaching job, a daughter playing high school basketball, another son getting into sports and a new fiance, her schedule does not always free up on game days.
“It’s a lot of stuff on her plate, but she balances it all well. I respect her because she tries to put the same amount of time into all of that and that’s hard to do,” Acy said. “I love my mother like no other. She’s my world, and we have a very strong relationship.”
Last year, Acy became a father. He has a 7-month-old named Austin, but after freshman Quincy Miller started calling him Simba, the nickname stuck. Acy said raising a son has helped him mature. That maturity translates to leadership on the team.
“[With your teammates] you have to kind of be brothers. It’s kind of a brotherly leadership, but at the same time you take characteristics from it,” Acy said. “They see how I act with my son and they respect that a lot.”
On the court, Acy has led by example. In the Feb. 20 game at the University of Texas, Acy recorded 22 points and 16 rebounds. His forceful dunks and blocks help limit the crowd’s energy and boost the team’s.
“He’s passionate. He brings the intensity to every possession,” sophomore Brady Heslip said. “When he gets pumped up, it pumps me up. I just go crazy and it gets me excited to see someone just beasting like that.”
Head coach Scott Drew charged Acy with more responsibilities this season. Acy is almost an extension of the coaching staff on the floor, Drew said.
“Every coach wants your upperclassmen to lead by example, and vocally. He’s done both of that. At times, the coaching staff will ask him questions as far as thoughts on the game or practice,” Drew said. “Basically just giving him an opportunity to lead like you want your leaders to lead. He inspired other players to raise their level and compete harder.”
With the Bears’ March 25 Elite Eight game against Kentucky out of reach, Acy checked out of the game and walked to the bench for the final time in his collegiate career.
He fought back tears as his teammates surrounded and encouraged him.
“This university has done so much for me,” Acy said after the game. “I wouldn’t have asked to go anywhere else. The coaching staff, all the players I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
Acy said he believes junior A.J. Walton can step up and be the team’s leader next year, but still believes other players possess the same kinds of leadership traits that Walton does. He said players like Miller and junior Pierre Jackson can be vocal leaders, and sophomore Cory Jefferson can be the energy on the floor that leads by example.
In an era where so many players leave college early, finding seniors that can step up and rally the team is rare. But Acy’s personality lends itself toward being a captain-like player.
“[I have] a chip on my shoulder to want to excel and want to be a man,” Acy said.