Shaka Smart’s second season with the Texas Longhorns was undeniably a disappointment, but he hopes to turn things around in 2017-18.
If that happens, one reason why will likely be freshman shooting guard Jase Febres, who you can get to know better in this clip:
While Febres came to Austin from Houston, he’s originally from Denver, Colorado. He’s been playing basketball from just about the time he could walk and played in youth leagues at four and five years old.
Given that, the game often acts as a stress reliever for Febres.
“I’ve gone through a lot of things in my life,” he says. “Basketball has been a way for me to get away from everybody and focus on me. I’m able to think about plenty of things while I’m on the court, but it also isolates me from all the outside voices.”
He’s got other stress relievers as well, such as cooking and watching the Food Network. Febres has a “serious addiction” to shoes as well, and loves to work on cars.
One huge motivator for him in his career is securing a financial future for his mother so she won’t have to work anymore. Sadly, his father passed away in 2015.
“I play for my dad,” Febres says. “He’s really my main motivation, aside from my family right now. He really drives me and pushes me in the back of my head.”
He described his first few weeks on campus as “tough,” both because of the workload and getting used to being away from his mother. But overall he’s enjoyed the experience and the freedom of being on his own.
“My focus this summer on the basketball court is, of course, on shooting,” says Febres. “I need to get used to the three-point line. It’s a little further (than the line in a high school game) so most of my shots are short.”
The pick and roll is another area of emphasis for Febres this offseason.
Overall, he’s ready to make his presence known and help get the ‘Horns program turned around.
“As a freshman I’m most looking forward to the impact we’ll make this season,” he says. “It wasn’t the best season last year, but we have a great recruiting class coming in. I think we’re really gonna make a big impact, and we’re gonna put Texas back on the map.”