Hard Work The Motto For Oregon's Sim
By Chris Brooklier
The Oregon-Oregon State rivalry, otherwise known as the Civil War, is one of the fiercest rivalries in college athletics and one that has been raging on for over 100 years. One person familiar with this tradition is Oregon senior Garrett Sim.
Garrett Sim was born into a family of Oregon State fans. His dad Tim played football at Oregon State and his mom Amy was a cheerleader for the Beavers. Even older brother Brennan was a walk-on quarterback for Oregon State. So Sim grew up rooting for the Beavers and going to Oregon State football and basketball games during his childhood.
Sim has broken the mold for the Sim family by diverging from his family's Oregon State roots and playing basketball at the University of Oregon. Now in his senior season, Sim is averaging career highs in almost every statistical category, including points (12.2), assists (2.5) and shooting percentage (.490).
To add on top of his career highs, Sim is closing in on many Oregon and Pac-12 records. After playing in 130 career games, Sim is on pace to at least match Joevan Catron's school record for most games played. Sim also just became the 32nd player in school history to score more than a thousand points.
"It's an accumulation of my hard work. I've never been hurt so that has a lot to do with the games played," Sim said. "I've worked hard and I never take a day off so its kind of my attitude, you only go as far as the hard work will take you."
Coming out of Sunset High School in Portland, Ore., a lot was expected of Sim. In his senior year of high school, Sim averaged almost 23 points and 9 assists a game. But Sim was not only a standout on the basketball court, he also won the triple jump in 2008 at the Oregon state championship.
Sim had an instant impact his freshman year at Oregon, playing in all 31 games and starting in 26 while scoring double digits in nine games. Sim also set his career high of 28 points in his freshman year against Utah.
Sim's work ethic is what drove him in his freshman year and has driven him throughout his entire career at Oregon.
"Honestly, I didn't expect to make an impact right away," Sim said. "I didn't know what to expect. I just came in and tried to work as hard as I could and see where that took me."
However, Sim's sophomore year wasn't as successful. Sim started in only five games, and had reductions in points, assists and three-pointers made, which led to confidence issues for Sim.
"I think my sophomore year was tough for me, just because I went from starting my freshman year to not starting and not really playing very much my sophomore year," he said. "I think that just kind of hurt my confidence a little bit, whether I wanted to admit it or not."
Sim's sophomore year was a learning experience for Sim though, and has influenced the rest of his Oregon career positively.
"I grew a lot, I learned a lot. I knew I never wanted to be in a situation like that again and you learn a lot about your character and having to go through ups and downs and that's what I've done." Sim said.
Before Sim's third year on campus, Oregon head coach Ernie Kent was fired. The five other freshman in Sim's recruiting class that he was so excited to grow with and finish his career went other places, whether it was transferring to other schools or going overseas to play professionally.
Sim was faced a decision: Should he be at a school with an unfamiliar coaching staff or transfer to a new school?
Sim never wavered from Oregon and turned the changes into a positive thing.
"I wanted to be at this school, I wanted to be representing the state of Oregon and you know that was my whole thing," Sim said. "I really liked it here and I knew I could prove myself to a new staff and to be honest I thought it was going to be a good opportunity to have a fresh start without having to transfer."
From then on Sim took a leadership role on the team and hasn't looked back since. And Sim's hard work has not gone unnoticed by head coach Dana Altman.
"He's done a great job for us, he's worked awfully hard and we really like the progress he's made this year," Altman said. "He's all about our program, he's all about our team and he just makes unselfish plays to win games."
Sim has been playing basketball since he could pick up a ball. His passion for the game is infinite, but Sim's favorite moment in basketball has been one off the court.
"I think it's just the relationships you build within the game of basketball. You come to college and build relationships with the guys on your team. Now E.J. (Singler) is one of my best friends and we've been through a lot," Sim said. "They mean more because we've been through wins and losses and tough practices together and I think that brings you even closer to people. Those relationships you build last a lifetime."