Tennessee guard plays with heavy heart

Josiah-Jordan James takes court after family home burns
James and the 12th ranked Vols open the new season with a 56-47 win over Colorado
James and the 12th ranked Vols open the new season with a 56-47 win over Colorado(Tennessee Athletic Communications)
Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 11:25 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Sophomore Tennessee guard Josiah-Jordan James took the court Wednesday night against Arkansas after having learned that his family home in Charleston, South Carolina burned. James lost all his belongings in the house fire, which his Mom didn’t tell him about until after Saturday’s game against Alabama.

Coach Rick Barnes was asked about James’ focus given the difficult situation he had been facing. Barnes responded by saying, “You know Josiah is just an incredible human being. His mom waited until after the game Saturday to tell him what had happened. And he is the kind of guy that keeps locked in himself, and I am sure he has not been home in a while, but he is probably thinking back that it is all gone. He lost everything in his room. I am sure somewhere in the back of his mind he has thought a lot about it. But obviously, his main thought was that everybody was safe. But I am sure it will even hit him more when the season is over with, and he goes home, and it is not home anymore.”

If just for a couple hours, James would put his family situation aside and play quality basketball Wednesday night leading the Volunteers in scoring with 17 points on the way to a 79-74 victory over the Razorbacks. Now 8-1 overall and 2-1 in SEC play, James and the Vols hit the road for College Station and a showdown with Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon.

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