Motum Adapts Into Dominant Force

By Daneysse Victoria Daniels

The chants get stronger and the screams get louder as Washington State junior Brock Motum continues to dominate on the court for the Cougar men's basketball team.

The six-foot-ten inch forward from Brisbane, Australia, has been playing basketball since he was six years old. While he did play other sports growing up, basketball has always been his favorite.

"I did a little tennis before, and I did swimming for a long time," Motum said. "I did volleyball for a little when I was 14 or 15. It was cool, but basketball has always been my passion."

Motum said the biggest difference between Australia and his new found home in Pullman, Wash., has to be the culture.

"It's cool, just different types of people, and a different attitude I think, but I like it," Motum said. "I like the small little community in Pullman. I didn't like it at first, but now it's sort of grown on me."

The school schedule was also a big difference for Motum.

"The way our school [in Australia] works is you start in January and finish in November, and then have summer off," Motum said. "I had off from December to July. So when I first got here, initially it was an adjustment getting back to school."

Motum wasn't the only one experiencing differences, as roommate and teammate Abe Lodwick said getting used to Motum's Australian accent was difficult at first.

"When he first got here I definitely couldn't understand a word that he was saying. That hasn't really changed much, but I usually get it the second time around," Lodwick said.

Motum was originally recruited under former WSU head coach Tony Bennett, and current head coach Ken Bone said within just a few days of receiving the job, he was on a flight to visit Motum's Australia home.

"I think within 48 hours of being hired here I took a trip to Australia to visit him and his family to once again seal it because he was questioning whether or not he still wanted to be here at Washington State," Bone said. "He wanted to get to know me and find out philosophically how I coached, and how we are planning on playing and what not. That meeting was a long meeting at his home, and it went well.

"I enjoyed it, I enjoyed his family, and he called later that night and said 'I'm on board, I'm coming.'"

Motum said after looking into previous programs led by Bone, and seeing that assistant coach Ben Johnson would still be part of the coaching staff, it was no question that he would still be attending WSU.

"I was pretty happy with my decision initially, with this school, and I really just looked into WSU. I hadn't really looked into schools in depth as much as I did WSU so, that was the main thing," Motum said. "[Ken Bone] seemed like a good coach, and Coach Johnson initially recruited me from the start with Coach Bennett, so he staying here was a big key to me staying."

Bone said Motum's maturity both on and off the court has really grown during his time at Washington State.

"I think he is more competitive now; he doesn't look the part that maybe some kids do, but he competes," Bone said. "He really brings it. He has become more confident this season because of the success he's had and he has done an outstanding job."

Lodwick said some may not even realize how good Motum was when he first arrived.

"On the court, he has gotten a lot better, but I don't think people really realize how good he was when he first got here," Lodwick said. "He didn't get tons of minutes when he first got here, but he was a good player then; he would kill me every day in practice it seems. Last year, and definitely this year he has really shown how good he is and how good he has been. It's good to see him do well on the court and be rewarded for all his hard work."

Lodwick said as he continues to watch Motum grow on the court, he has learned a few pointers from his teammate.

"Seeing him play with so much confidence, it's not something that he has done or said, but just seeing him play with so much confidence, gives me confidence," Lodwick said. "To see him go out there and play hard, and just play with a sense of confidence, it makes me a better player, too."

Motum is currently pursuing a degree in psychology at Washington State. He said although he does not know exactly what his future holds, he would like to one day use his degree while either working with a business or in sports psychology.

As Motum continues to grow both as a person and a player, he said the biggest lesson he has learned is to be persistent in everything you do.

"When things aren't working you can't just keep trying to do the same thing over and over to try and expect a different result, because it doesn't happen. You've got to adapt and change," Motum said. "You've got to find ways to be successful and make the most out of every opportunity that you have."

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