By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today
LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Davion Mintz isn’t looking back on his decision to play one more season of collegiate basketball for the University of Kentucky. It didn’t take the Creighton graduate transfer long to get used to his new surroundings earlier this summer.
“I immediately thought after a few weeks that this is one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made in my life,” he said. “Even so far, just coming in challenging myself and getting better every day, no matter how it turns out there’s no way that I can lose.”
Coming off a successful four-year career with the Blue Jays, Mintz said he has already “gotten so much better just by being here for a few months.”
“That’s all I asked for (and) everything else is a bonus,” he said. “Me coming in, being better every day and becoming a better basketball player, that’s what I wanted and that’s what I’m getting so far. And I don’t think it’ll stop now.”
Mintz compared Kentucky to Creighton and added the support the players receive at UK is “very similar to how people cared and supported at Creighton, a team with no professional sport in the state.” The Blue Jays are part of the revamped, but power-packed Big East Conference.
“For me, I’ve been a guy that’s played in big games, played against top-ranked teams,” he said. “I’ve been through hundreds of college practices, hundreds of games, so I’m looking to bring this team everything that I’ve been through.”
Although an experienced guard, Mintz still considers himself as one of the newcomers on the block.
“I still look at myself as young in the world, but yeah, definitely old being as experienced,” he said. “I think my job is going to be so much easier because this group we have here is so receptive to everything. They’re always looking forward to advice. They don’t look at it as if I’m trying to tell them what to do.”
Because of his experience at Creighton, Mintz said his maturity will prove to be beneficial this season.
“We advanced it up the court really fast,” he said. “We found the open guy. And for me, I think I can be a guy that does it on both ends. I can pass it up ahead or be the guy that’s catching it or receiving up ahead and making a play.
“I think with me it’s just versatility. I can do whatever is asked of me on the court. I’ve really adopted a mature state to my game, especially sitting out this past year. I feel like I’ve added a different pace into my game to where we can play fast and really slow things down. I think I’ll let my game speak for itself when it’s time to play.”
Like most of the newcomers, Mintz is finding his way during preseason workouts.
“It is very challenging, it’s hard, but it’s a fun culture. It’s a fun place to be every day,” he said.
Now that he’s used to his new surroundings, Mintz is enjoying being around his new teammates.
“It’s definitely a special group,” he said. “Guys are definitely backing up what their résumés said. It’s just very exciting.”