Junior brought back to roots at Ft. Hood

No. forward Cory Jefferson steps off the bus at Fort Hood for a special leadership training camp with the rest of the men’s basketball team on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012. The camp lasted throughout the weekend, challenging the Bears with team building exercises of endurance and cooperation.
Matt Hellman | Lariat Photo Editor

By Krista Pirtle
Sports Editor

Junior Cory Jefferson, a.k.a. Two Sleeves, stepped off the bus Saturday morning with a different physical appearance than his teammates: He was smiling.

“I know how things go in the military, so I’m exited just to be here.”

Jefferson grew up just outside the gates of Fort Hood, going to workouts with his mom, Fancy Pace, before his school day began.

“My mom was in the military here,” Jefferson said. “I would come up and do PT with her sometimes. We had to get up early in the morning so I was already used to getting up early. I was kind of behind everybody being younger but it was a good experience. My mom still lives here, right on the other side of the gate. We hear the booming and everything.”

The shouts of “Left face” and “Left, right, left” went in one ear and out the other for Jefferson, who saw his team progress after the first event.

“I see it building chemistry and leadership and whenever someone needs to step up they’ll step up,” Jefferson said. “Whoever’s talking or trying to help will take it and listen and not see it as someone trying to get in the way but someone actually trying to help.”

Last season, Jefferson helped his team coming off the bench, averaging 10 minutes a game and recording 121 points on the season with 90 rebounds and 42 blocks.

Like the rest of the Baylor team, Jefferson enjoyed his time with a gun in his hands.

“I’m a pretty experienced Call of Duty player, so yeah,” Jefferson said. “It just makes you appreciate what they do. It’s just a simulation in there, but they’re going to actually do it. It’s preparing them for actual battle. It was a fun thing to do with a team. Having the gun makes it more entertaining. I didn’t think some of the weapons were as heavy as they were.”

While he didn’t lead his team with his marksmanship, his skills on the obstacle course far surpassed that of his teammates.

The fact that he did well on the course did not mean that he left his teammates in the dust.

His words of encouragement and expertise helped his teammates push through the obstacles and come out victoriously.

“Cory has done this before so he already knows what he has to do,” Sgt. First Class Amando Luna said. “I’ve noticed that he’s coached some of them.”

The weekend as a whole was just like coming back for Jefferson, whose mom and loved ones greeted him during the four-team basketball tournament Saturday night.

“I think it’s great for Cory and I think it’s great for our guys to see what Cory grew up around,” Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. “I think it was obvious on the obstacle course. We all grew up playing outdoors on the merry-go-rounds, and Cory grew up on the obstacle course. You could see that he did well.”