When Loyola basketball tips off its second round game against the University of Tennessee, there will be more connecting the two teams than competition.
Tennessee’s second leading scorer, Admiral Schofield, is from Zion. He went to high school at Zion-Benton Township High School and played against Loyola’s senior Donte Ingram, who played at Simeon Career Academy. The two players have battled on the court in high school and AAU games.
“I played against him on the AAU circuit more than anything. But he’s a very athletic, very shifty with the ball,” Schofield said about Ingram. “I mean, he’s a city kid. He plays city ball, and very tough, tough-nosed guy.”
Schofield said he and Ingram play a similar style of basketball because they grew up in a basketball crazed city like Chicago.
“But the biggest thing is a lot of us coming up in that area, that’s how we play ball. We’re very tough,” Schofield said. “We pride ourselves in being able to get to the rim, being able to shoot the outside shot and having somewhat of a mid-range guy, guys that can do everything, and he can do that. He can pose problems for a lot of teams.”
Schofield grew up 40 miles from Loyola’s campus and was recruited by Loyola head coach Porter Moser out of high school. Schofield said he liked Loyola but wanted to get away from frigid Chicago winters.
“[Loyola] recruited me out of high school, and in the summers, we would play a lot of summer leagues up there,” Schofield said. “It’s a really nice school downtown, but the biggest thing for me was I wanted to get out of the cold and the snow. I got tired of shoveling every winter and all that, so I wanted to get out.”
Schofield isn’t the only Volunteer with Chicago connections. Tennessee first-year forward Derrick Walker Jr. has a cousin who played college basketball for the Ramblers.
Earl Peterson transferred to Loyola from Coffeyville Community College and played two years at Loyola. Peterson averaged 8.7 ppg in his senior year at Loyola.
Walker Jr. said Peterson wouldn’t be able to make it to the tournament but he would be trash-talking with his cousin afterwards.
Tennessee and Loyola tip off at 5:10 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on TNT.