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Hines brings experience with a rookie twist

Story by Austin Cannon
Photo by Luke Nankivell

hines2_nankivell-w800-h800This season marked both the first and last time fifth-year senior Chris Hines donned a Drake basketball uniform.

The 6-foot-1 guard and Houston native transferred from the University of Utah and averaged 9.7 points per game during the season to be the team’s second-leading scorer.

Hines said it was a strange phenomenon being a senior, while it was still his first year on the team.

“It’s been very different, you know,” Hines said. “You have to learn a whole new system and a whole new way of life in terms of not only off the court but on the court as well.”

Hines earned an undergraduate degree from Utah in speech communication and is now pursuing a master’s degree in public administration. He redshirted his first year at Utah in 2008-09, so he had a year of eligibility left after he graduated. Because he had already earned his degree, he was able to play immediately for the Bulldogs.

While at Utah, Hines was coached by Stan Johnson, who was hired onto former head coach Mark Phelps’ staff in 2011.

“Stan knew him, he knew the family, and it was a natural progression for him to consider Drake. … From there, we were able to dig in and recruit him and get to know him,” Phelps said.

Phelps acknowledged the difficulty of Hines’ transfer, but said he handled it well and quickly became a leader.

“(It’s) really difficult to come in as an older guy but as a new guy. … He came in and he proved himself as a guy who was all about the right things,” Phelps said. “It was about his teammates. It was about hard work.”

Hines injured his right knee during the summer. That forced him to miss the season opener against William Jewell, but he was still able to move forward and lead the Bulldogs.

“The way he conducted himself at all times just kind of proved to his teammates that, you know, he was a really good guy and worthy of them to kind of follow his example,”
Phelps said.

One of Hines’ teammates, freshman guard Micah Mason, saw Hines as a team leader.

“He’s definitely a big vocal leader for us. … He’s taught me a lot as a guard on the team,”
Mason said.

Hines recognized his role as a senior leader and was able to use that to support the younger players on the team.

“One of the things I like to do is to tell them that it’s a process and that you’re not going to get results right away,” Hines said. “You know, you have to work at it, keep working at it. And then if I come to work every day, I would hope to lead by example, too.”

Hines not only draws praise for his leadership but also for his skills on the court.

“He’s a strong scoring guard,” Phelps said. “He’s a really good defender. … He’s a heck of a
competitor.”

Phelps went further to explain how Hines is a player who he appreciates as a head coach.

“He plays because he has a real passion for it,” Phelps said. “He’ll play as long as he can possibly play and be involved with the game as long as he can.”

Editor’s Note: Since the interviews and reporting for this story were conducted, Mark Phelps was released as Drake men’s basketball head coach, and Micah Mason left the team.

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