North Texas Daily

Voss finds his fit with Mean Green men’s basketball

Voss finds his fit with Mean Green men’s basketball

Voss finds his fit with Mean Green men’s basketball
January 20
22:57 2014

Akshay Mirchandani // Staff Writer

He started as a standout two-sport athlete in Grand Rapids, Mich. Now, four years later, he is a basketball player at UNT and has become a bright spot for the Mean Green men’s basketball team. It’s safe to say it has been a long journey for junior forward Colin Voss.

“When I look in the future, it’s not like I don’t know what I’m going to be doing,” Voss said. “I’m going to be here for a while and I have to make it work and I’m enjoying myself so far.”

Voss has become an integral part of the team, but it was a long road to get to Denton. The road began in Michigan, where he played football and basketball at East Grand Rapids High School.

Voss played tight end under his dad, who was the head football coach at East Grand Rapids, and together they won three straight state championships. However, despite his football success, Voss preferred basketball and decided to go to Central Michigan University to play.

“I just enjoyed playing basketball more. Even in high school, I kind of struggled practicing football,” Voss said. “My dad was my coach, and I talked to him about it and he said ‘you don’t really practice hard with us, you don’t enjoy practicing football every day,’ and at that level you really have to love it because it’s like a job.”

The team slowly brought Voss along at Central Michigan, as he averaged 8.3 minutes in 29 games his freshman season, and looked forward to more playing time the following year. However, Voss broke his wrist, which caused him to miss his sophomore season of play and redshirt for the year. After that season, the Central Michigan basketball program went through a coaching change which prompted Voss to transfer.

“Our coach got fired, and the new guy came in and I didn’t really know him,” Voss said. “I don’t think he really liked me, so I was like ‘I’m out of here,’ and I went to this [junior college].”

Voss transferred to Northern Oklahoma College, a junior college located in Tonkawa, Okla. Voss hadn’t visited the school, but knew the head coach and decided to give it a chance.  He said that going from Michigan to Oklahoma was a huge adjustment and he realized that on his way there.

“We got there and we like stopped on the side of the road and took this picture, because it was like ‘Northern Oklahoma: exit here’ and it was just like literally nothing,” Voss said. “I was just like ‘what the hell, what am I even doing?’”

The chance Voss took paid off. Last season, his only at Northern Oklahoma, Voss averaged 11.6 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game, and was named to the NJCAA All-American second team. That was when he caught the attention of the Mean Green.

“Coach David Anwar, my assistant coach, did a great job of recruiting him last year,” head coach Tony Benford said. “He was a great kid, great attitude, works hard every day.”

Voss said he felt comfortable with UNT and saw a lot of positives in the basketball program.

“I liked the city, I liked the school,” Voss said. “It was a good conference. I thought we had the opportunity to win and I think we still do.”

The beginning of this season didn’t start as planned for Voss. Before it even started, he suffered a torn quadriceps, which forced him to miss the last month of practice and preseason. However, Voss’ injury healed quicker than expected and he returned just in time for the start of the regular season.

“I’ve never had a leg injury like that before,” Voss said. “I was weak, I couldn’t jump and I couldn’t really explode. But it got back to normal after a couple of weeks.”

Voss is averaging 6.7 points per game along with 5.9 rebounds, and has become a starter for the Mean Green.

Senior guard Alzee Williams said that Voss is a gritty player on the court, but that he is a great guy off the court.

“On the court he’s a grimy guy,” Williams said. “He’s real tough. He doesn’t let anybody punk him. Off the court he’s real nice and likes to make jokes, and everybody’s friends with him.”

Benford said he brings a lot to the squad.

“I think he brings stability to our lineup. He understands what we’re doing,” Benford said. “His dad’s a coach and his mom played college basketball so he understands that side of it.”

Benford said Voss can score, rebound and defend in the post and is a really good all-around player.

Despite all of the moving around and the different obstacles that Voss has come across during his college career, he has learned to embrace change when it comes along.

“A lot of people are afraid to change. I learned a lot at Central Michigan when I broke my wrist,” Voss said. “You get down for a minute when you have to redshirt, you get sad and blah blah blah, sad you’re not playing. I think it helped me here when I got hurt. I knew I couldn’t let it affect me and let it bring me down.”

Feature photo: Junior forward Colin Voss under the big screen at the Super Pit on Monday afternoon. After flying in Sunday from an away game in North Carolina the team and Voss prepare for Thursday’s home game against University of Alabama at Birmingham. Photo by Margaret Saucedo / Staff Photographer 

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