Tennessee forward Renaldo Woolridge has spent much of his college career making music. The son of former NBA player Orlando Woolridge, “Swiperboy” — as he was called — has several videos of his songs posted on YouTube.
But Woolridge is walking away from his Swiperboy image. Even though he says that image helped steer him away from suicide, as he recently wrote on his blog:
“I began doing music when I was eight (years old) as an emotional release. I went through a lot of things in my life that have troubled me emotionally. There have been times when I’ve contemplated things like suicide, going insane, or giving up all hope.
However, through faith, God was able to put Music into my life to keep me out of harm’s way.”
Woolridge — in typical rap fashion — went on to state that he’s “the best new rapper” in America. So might new coach Cuonzo Martin be behind Swiperboy’s decision to put music on the back burner?
Mike Griffith of The Knoxville News Sentinel points out that Martin said way back on March 27th that “there’s a time and a place for it.”
Meanwhile, former UT assistant Tony Jones — now coaching at a Knoxville-area high school — seems to think it’s about time Woolridge put down the mic.
“Obviously, with the distraction of rapping, he hasn’t reached his full potential,” Jones said. “Now we’ll see if his projected talents come to fruition.”
Bruce Pearl allowed Woolridge to do his thing. Perhaps Martin isn’t as lenient when it comes to outside activities.