The holidays approached and DaZhon Wyche of Anchorage was in Wyoming playing basketball at Laramie Community College.
He missed his family and friends, and his play started to slip.
That’s when his dad, Antonio, paid his son a visit at school in hopes of pumping some life in his kid’s game. It worked.
The 5-foot-10 guard responded with a 21-point performance the first night and a 7-assist effort the next, helping Laramie post three consecutive victories after losing the previous five games.
“I was a little homesick, but my dad came out here for my last three games and it was nice to have him out here watching,” Wyche told me.
The only freshman in the starting lineup, Wyche ranks second in the conference with 15 steals and fourth with 31 assists through the first eight games.
He is averaging 13.8 points with high games of 28, 21 and 17.
“Some games I’ve scored good but we have some bigs and other wing players that can score, so I get to the lane and find them,” he said.
Wyche, of West High fame, was the Alaska Class 4A player of the year as a junior and senior.
A slasher in high school, he’s had to change the way he plays the game against bigger, stronger opponents. It’s more difficult to get to the lane, and when he does get inside, he doesn’t always get his shot or the call.
He’s averaging 2.3 free-throw attempts per game, but there were three games when he didn’t even get to the line. As a result, he is taking more perimeter shots.
Wyche is 14-for-54 from 3-point land for 29.6 percent.
“I’m going to keep fighting,” he said of fine-tuning his game.