Action Sports Spotlight - Jeff Foote

By Brendan O'Reilly

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 15, 2008 at 6:25 PM EDT

It's really hard not to notice Cornell's Jeff Foote. After all, his nickname could be "7" as in 7-Foote.
"Foote with the rebound and the foul. You can't do nothing when the dude is 7-feet tall."
But Foote's basketball talents go far beyond just being tall.
Coach Steve Donahue says, "He's a great passer and that's unusual for guys that size but he uses his size to see over the defense. As I say, if he was 6'6, he'd be a very good basketball player."
Amazingly, Foote was nowhere on Donahue's radar when he graduated from nearby Spencer Van-Etten three years ago.
"He fills the frame of a 7-footer to say the least."
Instead, he earned an academic scholarship to St. Bonaventure, made the team, but then was only able to play in practice because he was redshirted.
Jeff says, "That first year at Bonaventure was probably the hardest year, basketball wise, of my life."
Foote's life took a dramatic turn late that first year thanks to a series of unlikely events. While visiting an injured player at Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Coach Donahue began talking to a nurse who happened to be Jeff's mother. When she mentioned her son was a 7-foot basketball player, Donahue took notice and Foote transferred to Cornell later that year.
"I guess it was kind of a blessing in disguise. I mean, you don't wish that upon anybody, but I'm glad things worked out the way they did."
Foote sat out his first year at Cornell as a transfer. He finally played his first college game a month ago, more than two years after his last real game. He's already making an impact and gaining opponents attention.
"I feel like sometimes I have an "X" on my chest. People are like, they see me and they're like I'm gonna go right at him."
If the competition doesn't take him seriously yet, Big Foote will make them take notice pretty quickly. In Ithaca, Justin Horowitz, Action Sports.

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