Austin Reaves’ Small Town Dream To NBA Glory With The Lakers

Located in the middle of a grassland is Austin Reaves. The gnats are worse now than they were last year, and the air is thick and heated. However, this place is very serene, close to the “big pond” where his mother occasionally catches meals.

This is where “Hillbilly Kobe,” a 6-foot-5 guard the Lakers uncovered after the NBA Draft last year, was born. However, the genuine country kid isn’t quite at ease in this setting.

His eyes start to well up with tears as his allergies are killing his sinuses and giving the tip of his nose the color of an Arkansas Razorback.

Even worse, he might once more be sought after.

Reaves recalled the time, earlier that May morning, when he was sitting at the kitchen table with his mother, Nicole Wilkett, when the family’s cows raced around him and the family dogs. Nicole Wilkett was with him at the time. Reaves’ decision to follow a different line of work was influenced by a hundred various factors, including this episode.

Could anything similar happen to Reaves, where he is caught up in the middle of a stampede?He smiles and says, “You might get your wish,” as the herd begins to circle around him.

Cows make a lowing sound. They could become very angry. Or it’s possible that they share the same desire as everyone else in this collection of small country communities to get a better look at the NBA player.


Reaves escapes before he has the chance to find out the truth.

Wilkett makes the joke that you have never liked cows.

The function of the fake moos. The cattle continue to keep their distance from one another. After hopping back into a four-wheeler, Reaves races out to a different part of the farm’s 300-acre property.

He could have claimed it as his own, but he made the decision not to do so instead.

When Wilkett wanted something done, he’d tell them, “Either you get in the gym or you work on the farm.”

It wasn’t so much a decision as it was a threat, and it did the job it was intended to do.


His detractors asserted that he was nothing more than a sluggish young boy from a remote community who lacked the necessary physical attributes to handle the demanding aspects of the game due to his narrow shoulders. In a league that looks for definite things, Reaves was hardly a lock to make the team.

Because of this, his agency inquired about the reasoning behind his desire to do this prior to the NBA draft.

Or might it have been the money? Which comes first, the clothes or the cars? Who are the ladies? the notoriety?

In his own words, Reaves said, “I stared him in his eyes. After that, I told her to tell everyone to “f— off.” My entire life, I’ve struggled with being underweight. not sufficiently fit on a physical level. In the past, I lacked the necessary level of ability. Everyone offered explanations as to why I shouldn’t do it. It was a phrase that was repeated over and over again: “We’re going to find something about him that he can’t do well enough to succeed.”

“Yeah, so telling everyone to get the f— off was a good feeling.”

It seems that the cows are a part of it as well.

“Even if you don’t like basketball, you still love Austin.”After making his debut with the Lakers in the NBA, Reaves went back to his hometown after enjoying a season with the team that was as successful for him personally as it could possibly have been. He split his time between the farm in Newark and the house that he shared with his father, Brian Reaves, in Batesville, which was only ten minutes away.

When he drives at night on the roads that connect Newark, Oil Trough, and Sulphur Rock, the only thing that shines through the eerie, dark emptiness are the headlights of his automobile.

Even while it has always been this way, after spending some time in Los Angeles, he has begun to notice that there is a difference.

Reaves, a former high school great who used to spend 20 minutes signing autographs on the court before entering the locker room after a game, is more well-known in this city than he is anywhere else on the face of the earth.

This has not altered despite the increasingly bizarre nature of the demands that have been made.

While Reaves and his pals were having dinner at a steakhouse by the river, they made fun of him over his status as an NBA player in the surrounding community.

During the golf tournament that the three of them ended up winning, a fan approached Reaves and asked for his autograph. It happens quite regularly in this region.However, Reaves was approached by a man whose arms were covered with tattoos. It was requested of Reaves that he sign on a blank spot of skin on his forearm, which he held out, so that the signature could be permanently inked to finish the sleeves. Reaves complied with this request.

Kelly Dennison, a librarian for Independence County, remarked that even if you don’t like basketball, “You love Austin.” Especially in this particular region.

According to Reaves’ interpretation, either he knows you directly or he knows someone else who does know you.

The father of Reaves was a point guard at Arkansas State University, where he finished third all-time in career assists. He resigned from the squad, and “Hoop Dreams” star Arthur Agee, a well-known guard, was brought in to take his spot in the starting lineup. Reaves’ mother was also a standout scorer during her time at Arkansas State University; her career scoring average of 19 points per game was the second highest in the annals of the school’s history.

His mother continued by making a shot from 10 feet away on a half-court that was adjacent to the house while she laughed and said, “More of a scorer than a shooter, know what I mean?”On that court, which was surrounded by woodland, Austin, his older brother Spencer, and their friends would play a game called “no fouls” and “no out of bounds.” After a struggle for a loose ball in the woods, someone would usually end up with a cut on their face.

Spencer is a name that needs no introduction in the city of Newark. The fact that he is a professional athlete in Germany does not carry as much weight as it used to, but it still has some significance.

After a brief pause, Spencer commented with a chuckle, “Now I’m Austin’s older brother.” And I loathe it whenever that takes place.Wilkett told her sons that they had a choice between working in agriculture or athletics because the town they grew up in had only three stop signs and was so small that the local pizza joint was simply referred to as “The Pizza Place.”

Everyone was conscious of the fact that there had been no real decision made. The evidence is plastered all over the walls of the bedroom where Austin used to spend his boyhood. Above his bed is a photomontage that he created, consisting of pictures from the youth baseball team on which he excelled as the shortstop. He was a golfing prodigy and continues to be one.

On the opposite side, Reaves still displays the trophy he won for his first successful shot against the bucks. It is a deer head that he harvested after a successful hunt when he was just six years old.

However, considering the genetic makeup of the Reaves family, it should not come as much of a surprise that the Reaves sons have become well-known on the court.

“I figured there must have been a mistake. as though I were completely oblivious.

— Austin Reaves, after learning that he had scored 73 points in a game that went into three overtime periods.

The year when Reaves was a freshman at Cedar Ridge High School and his brother was a junior there, the school was crowned the 2A state champion. This gang prevailed over East Poinsett County and its standout player Malik Monk, who was a highly coveted recruit for the University of Kentucky and will be a future teammate of theirs on the Lakers.

Back then, Reaves was nothing more than a shoelace-thin point guard who was tasked with handling the offense for Cedar Ridge.

“Sometimes, he’d get beaten up just going through the layup line,” recalled Isaac Middlebrooks, who was the team’s coach.Despite this, Reaves began to develop a reputation for being a fierce competitor. It’s not like he was able to escape getting beaten up by his brother on the basketball court or in the basement of the family home. Kobe Bryant, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers, was his favorite player on the club, and he admired him for his toughness, resiliency, and grit in addition to his brilliance.

Spencer said, “As an older brother, you always enjoy beating up your younger brother,” and he meant it. Even though he was getting severely beaten on a regular basis, he continued to come back for more. But he never lost his ability to bounce back.

“He never backed down from competing in that sense, even though I was trouncing him,”

The next year, the Reaves boys and Cedar Ridge won the state title again, marking the beginning of their rise to fame in their hometown.

“In small towns, basketball or sports are sometimes the only thing people have to experience together,” said Spencer. We do not have a team in the NBA. Our city does not have a team in the National Football League… I believe it’s beneficial for people to have something they can cling to and feel connected to in their lives. And as a high school team, we were capable of being one of those things due to our level of talent. It was an amazing experience.

After a game at Cedar Ridge High School, Austin Reaves is comforted by his older brother Spencer, who is 12.Following the conclusion of a game at Cedar Ridge High School, Austin Reaves is comforted by his older brother, Spencer. (Photo by Brian Reaves, with permission)By the time he was a senior, Austin had established himself as one of the high school players in the country with the most points scored. Double teams and other defensive strategies were employed by opposing defenses in an effort to stymie his progress. In order to locate the best games, Middlebrooks competed against larger schools and traveled to other states. They were looking for the best competition.

Nearly every time, Reaves accomplished something truly remarkable.

There was the game in which he scored 33 of his total 57 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning buzzer-beater in that period. He scored more than 40 points each game on average. After getting out to a sluggish start and having foul trouble, he scored 43 points in the state championship game to help his team win for the third time in the last four years.

But none of those games compared to the one he had on December 4, 2015, against the Forrest City Mustangs, a team that eventually won a state title in a division that was three levels higher than the one that Reaves’ Cedar Ridge team competed in.

In a nail-biting victory that went to three overtimes and 117 points, Reaves poured in 73 points.

Reaves was able to attack relentlessly because to the push put on by the Mustangs. He’d attempted 37 free throws and made 34 of them.

Middlebrooks noted that every time the group required a bucket, Middlebrooks could count on the individual to provide one.

When it was getting late in the game, Reaves glanced up at the scoreboard and noticed the point number that was next to his name. The game ended up being the one with the most points scored in the history of the state.

“At first, I assumed it was an error. Like I had no idea,” he remarked. “I thought that they made a mistake.”

Finally, they could pat themselves on the back for having Reaves under their control.

“It was abundantly clear that he was going to be the individual who decided what was going to take place on the floor.”

— The leadership of Austin Reaves, according to Oklahoma’s head coach Lon Kruger

When Reaves returned to his hometown after spending two years at Wichita State, he found that a lot of things had changed. The program at the mid-major school was established on the backs of players who were quite similar to him and who were overlooked by the most dominant programs in college basketball for one reason or another. However, he was not a famous person. To tell you the truth, he wasn’t even a legitimate starter.

ADVERTISEMENT”People were still proud of him,” Reaves’ father stated about his son after his death. “But when people go… it’s nothing like when they’re here winning state championships,” the speaker continued.

Gregg Marshall, the head coach at Wichita State, was aware that Reaves was a very significant player.

“We think Austin is the complete package,” Marshall stated upon Reaves’ signing, referring to the fact that his high school team relied on him to score a lot of points in order to be successful. “His scoring numbers stand out,” Marshall said. “That’s what he needed to do in order for his high school team to be successful.”

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