Beyond the Game: At young age, Little Rock Trojan learned to stay 'on course'

Little Rock's Oliver Black can attest to this: knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing the right thing to do.

The redshirt sophomore began his career at Mississippi State, where Wes Flanigan was an assistant coach at the time. He followed Flanigan to Little Rock, so no one knows his story better than the Trojans head coach.

"I didn't hear it. I actually experienced it," he said.

"Going down there, recruiting him, his mom's a sweet lady. He's got two younger sisters that are really sweet. It's been hard on the family."

Black's two older brothers, Michael and David, are both incarcerated on weapons charges.

"Honestly, it's motivation for me not to do the same thing they did," Black said. "Like the old saying, you lead by example. So they showed me what not to do. So after seeing it, I made up my mind that I wouldn't do anything to hurt my mom or myself."

His mom made sure that happened, too.

"She took me under her wing. I guess she felt something special about me. She just made sure I understood life and how things work and I just stayed focused."

Black stayed focus on basketball. Now, he's on track to be the first college graduate in his family.

"When I come out every night, I think about my sisters and my mom," he said.

"I try to make everything better for them. So I try to bunker down and continue to remember why I'm here."

The Trojans play at Coastal Carolina on Monday, January 9th at 6:00. You can watch the game on the American Sports Network, available locally on KATV 7.3, GRIT TV.

The team returns home Saturday to take on Arkansas State at 6:00.

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