The attention that follows a college basketball player after a sensational freshman season became evident to Kansas State guard Marcus Foster during a recent trip to his hometown.
Everywhere he went in Wichita Falls, Texas, Foster felt like a celebrity.
“It’s crazy back home,” Foster said. “I can’t go anywhere without someone asking me for an autograph or a picture. It’s funny. I was really known (in high school), but I wasn’t famous. I was just another guy who was good at basketball. Now I am famous when I go back home.”
Good thing, because his fame is about to grow.
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Coming off a year in which he established himself as the best K-State freshman since Michael Beasley, averaging 15.5 points and 3.3 rebounds, Foster is ready to take on another big challenge. Wednesday, he will join 29 of the nation’s top college players — including Kansas’ Perry Ellis and Kelly Oubre and Wichita State’s Ron Baker — at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas.
Foster hopes the four-day camp goes as well as his recent stint at the Nike Guards Academy, where NBA players and renowned coaches complimented his play.
Foster was the Wildcats’ top scorer and top overall player on a team that qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
Not bad for a guy who entered his college career hoping to average five points per game in his first season. “It is the opposite this year,” Foster said. “I have high expectations ... not for just myself but for my team.”
Looking back on his freshman season, he lamented turning the ball over 73 times, and he regrets not taking better care of his body.
So he has focused on two main areas this offseason: ball handling and conditioning.
“If I want to better my future I am going to have to be a point guard,” Foster said. “But for me next year, I am really going to be more of a combo (guard), because I am still going to have to score the ball. ... With the motion offense, I think I will be able to do a little bit of both.
“… One thing I have been working on is ... looking for my teammates. Now, when I attack, I keep my head up and look for my teammates and to score.”
Two K-State transfers will compete internationally as part of the Athletes in Action Tour through Estonia and Latvia in August. Forward Brandon Bolden, from Georgetown, and guard Justin Edwards, from Maine, will join a team of college players and take on pro competition in exhibition games Aug. 1-14. Both sat out last season as transfers and are eligible to play this season.