“We didn’t grow up with much,” Simmons, who is now a graduate assistant for Central Arkansas’ track team, said. “Our mom worked hard. She worked triple jobs. I was the eldest so I took care of everybody else. I didn’t have a problem with him being on the court because Buddy got in a lot of mischievous trouble. That’s just kids growing up. I’d let him go and just tell him to be back at a certain time.”
Hield idolized the game of Allen Iverson, mimicking Iverson’s pesky defense and fearless driving on offense despite his small stature.
That helped Hield when he was 5-foot-7 playing against older, bigger players on that blacktop court.
But when he sprung up several inches over one summer in middle school, it made him a force on the court.
“That motivated me to get after it more,” Hield said. “Watching my game, as a basketball player, you know you’re good enough and I thought I was good enough. I felt like I had a chance.”
If the Sooners are to be successful in the NCAA Tournament, Hield figures to have a lot to do with it, whether it’s hitting the outside shots or driving.
“It makes us a lot tougher to guard,” Hield said. “We’ve got guys who can shoot the ball so good, you really don’t know what to do. You’ve got to play them honest and if you play them honest, guys will be good to dribble. All we try to do is make plays for each other and make the right plays.”