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Xavier Pinson talks Chicago roots

Mizzou News for Friday, December 27

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Xavier Pinson had a long chat with Dave Matter, and it was awesome.

I must confess, when I heard on the latest Eye on the Tigers pod that Dave Matter was putting together a piece about X, I was so excited. And for it to come out on a day when I am responsible for the links the following morning, it was like a wonderful late Christmas gift. My dad and I absolutely LOVE this young man.

X-Man opened up about a lot of things in a lengthy interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and it is well worth your time to read it.

Readers learned a lot about his relationship with his west side Chicago neighborhood and his mom, who he says has challenged him and inspired him like no one else ever in his life. Pinson spent all of his free time on the courts growing up, outdoors during the day, and then moving to the indoor fieldhouse before dark, always calling his mom when he needed to be picked up, because one never knew what could happen on the streets.

When X is out on the court, that’s what he thinks about most often.

“When I lock in for layup lines or the national anthem, I just make sure that I remember where I came from,” he said. “The street that I lived on, the streets around me, the park that I used to walk by every day on the way to my grammar school. I just think about all the things that’s happened around there, the shootings, the killings, the robbings. I put all of that into my anger on the court.

In reference to people worrying he’d take the “Blake Harris route” and transfer when he wasn’t playing enough — I must confess, I was worried about this — this is what he had to say:

“I feel like people nowadays kind of overreact (to getting benched),” he said. “That’s just how this generation is. If something goes wrong, next minute you see them in the transfer portal. . . . I would say I was mad that I wasn’t playing, but I still understood why I wasn’t. It wasn’t like a miscommunication or anything with the coaches. I just was mad. I like playing basketball. Like when I was a kid I (did) the same thing in AAU games. If I was hurt or sitting on the bench, I’d be mad. Mizzou is where I want to be.”

The athleticism and ability you saw from X at the Braggin’ Rights game was not surprising to Coach Martin, who talked in his last media availability about Pinson being “savvy” on the court.

That vision, that drive, the coach credits to Pinson’s background in Chicago.

“He’s aware of his surroundings,” Martin said. “Oftentimes when you’re exposed to a lot coming up, you see things differently.”

Anyway, you can read the awesome story in its entirety here. I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend it.

On to the links!

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:



  • Women’s Hoops keeps counting down their top moments of the #CoachPDecade, and they’re at # 6!
  • Coach Nicodemus Christopher and his wife, Fallon Smith, are welcoming a baby boy! Do you think he seems a bit excited?!

Other Mizzou Sports-related news:

Mizzou in the Pros news:

  • J’den Cox opened up about his mental health struggles by sharing his new tattoo. Love this, and love him.
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