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Countdown to Tipoff - 11 Days

Nov. 3, 2008

Georgia Tech’s men’s and women’s basketball teams begin their 2008-09 campaign on Nov. 14 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. In the days leading up to tipoff, the Yellow Jackets players will offer observations about the upcoming season and their teams. Today – Gary Cage.

What’s up everybody? Some of you guys know me but I’m sure a lot of you guys out there are thinking “Gary who?” So I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Gary Cage and I’m a local from southwest Atlanta. I came to Tech as a freshman during the ’05-’06 school year and God blessed me with the opportunity to walk on the team, for which I am extremely thankful. After my freshman year, I took a year off that gave me a chance to improve my skills and strengthen myself academically. As a junior, I made the team again and I will be entering into my 3rd season of basketball, and fourth year this coming Friday. I began playing this game at ten years old, and since then, I’ve had a burning passion for it. I could probably be considered a “gym rat” because I love being on the court. I just feel at peace and at home when I’m in the gym. I don’t know how long God will allow me to play basketball but when I can’t play anymore, I plan to go into coaching.

I came into Georgia Tech as a student and was blessed with the opportunity to become a student-athlete. One thing that I definitely didn’t realize at first, and that I don’t think people realize about the student-athletes here is the challenge that we take on in coming here. Georgia Tech is a tough school with intense academic curricula. It’s a rigorous process to go through school here without any extra-curricular activities. Adding basketball, or any sport, to all that the Georgia Tech student goes through, which requires a great deal of one’s time, energy and focus, presents a true challenge to those whose are deemed student-athletes. Luckily, we have coaching staff who is dedicated to making sure that we are successful in more than just basketball. They stress the importance of academics daily, which ensures that we stay focused and do well. And we do A LOT of study hall!!! (lol) But that’s enough of me. I’m sure you guys want to hear about our team this year.

We have been working and preparing extra hard for the upcoming season. From track workouts to weights to intense practices we have been grinding it out, and I can’t wait to see our work pay off during the season. Unfortunately, as with any year and any journey that you go on, we’ve run into a few unexpected snags with injuries and other things, but by the grace of God, we will come through it all just fine. I’m especially excited this year about our chemistry on and off the court. I feel like this team is closer than any team I’ve been on here and we are jelling more and more everyday. As long as we maintain discipline on the court, implement the things that Coach Hewitt is teaching us, focus on the little things and play consistently with intensity, we’re going to do exceptionally well. We appreciate you guys’ support through all these years. I’m definitely looking forward to being able to share our success with you this season, and we’re all looking forward to seeing you all at the games. Our first exhibition game is on Friday at 7:30 p.m. I hope you’re as excited as I am! Come check us out!

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