“It motivated me to keep playing better basketball so I could play at a higher level,” he said. “You want to play at programs like that, but you know one in a hundred get to play there. It made me work hard and get to wear I am today.”
Now, he's applying all those things he learned and taking them into Saturday's game with him.
“I was made for those type of environments,” Hield said. “I look forward to playing in those type of environments. I knew if I couldn't play for them I wanted to go play them and beat them.”
The Sooners know of Hield's high school trip to the Phog. Senior reserve Sam Grooms said the freshman talks about it when they talk about loud arenas.
“It's every little thing,” Grooms said. “It's the loudest arena I've ever been in.”
But this time going in, Grooms knows he has something Kansas basketball decided to gloss over: Buddy Hield.
“I'm just glad that he came here, I'd rather not deal with him at another place,” Grooms said. “He's just active and always so energetic. That wears on you after a while. I go against him enough in practice that I'm used to it by now, but I feel bad for other guards.”