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Oklahoma men's basketball: Sam Grooms always has a good word to offer

Since he was a child, the son of two preachers, he learned how to be there for others. To let them talk, to listen to their words and then guide them.
By Stephanie Kuzydym Published: March 8, 2013

Grooms was always there for the freshman. During a home game against Kansas, Grooms wrapped his arm around Cousins' shoulder as he led him to the locker room for halftime. Cousins had just committed a turnover with 26 seconds remaining in the half and a stern talking to from Kruger.

Grooms said that after that game, instead of telling Cousins what he did wrong, he worked with him on his count to get ball across the court quicker.

As the point guard, and the guy the Sooners count on to run the offense, Grooms learned how to help his teammates work through their struggles during a game or practice. In return, they gave him advice during his low-point this season.

Sam's mother, Ora, said helping a teammate is how her son has always been. That's the way she raised him.

“I always told him when it comes down to basketball, you go for everything you know,” Ora said. “After the basketball game, it's over. Stay competitive in that arena, but when the game (over), be a good human being.”

During that time Grooms worked with Cousins, the senior wasn't the guy earning the start. Grooms didn't care if helping Cousins through his battles made his struggles to become a starter even more difficult. Those street missions taught him how to find a happy medium of a tough situation.

“Tough times don't last, but tough people do,” Grooms said. “That's the big quote that I stick by when people go through anything.”