During the last week of the 2016-17 basketball season, senior J.B. Ewell was told it would be the last year of his college basketball career.
“I was sick to my stomach,” Ewell said. “It felt unreal having something just taken away like that.”
Ewell transferred to Pacific University after spending a year at Miles College in Alabama, and two years before that at Chemeketa Community College. Coming into the 2016-17 season, Ewell thought he still had two years of eligibility remaining and although the news of his basketball eligibility was devastating, J.B. decided to take it as a chance to take his athletic abilities to a new sport. This year Ewell is playing on the Boxer football team while finishing his final year in school.
“I was initially recruited out of high school for football,” Ewell said. “Coach Buckley gave me this opportunity to play football here and I was happy to take that chance.”
The transition from basketball to football has not been too tough for Ewell.
“I am used to being inside around this time when it starts raining and getting cold,” Ewell said. “But besides that I’m having fun.”
Ewell said he likes the competitive spirit and mentality of football compared to basketball.
“It’s much more mental as far as being in the playbook,” Ewell said. ”Not to say you aren’t in your playbook or watching film for basketball, but football just feels like a whole new level.”
Ewell also gives credit to his teammates for helping him make this transition.
“I love it man,” Ewell said. “It’s a lot of guys and they’re all cool.”
Even though it is Ewell’s first year on the team, he has still worked to be a leader and example for younger players.
“A lot of the seniors have taught me ways I can be a better leader,” Ewell said. “We have so many freshmen, I try to help them, and not just with football.”