Reggie Hearn is very familiar with what he calls “scrub minutes.” That time comes at the end of basketball blowouts, when bench players get their only chance at game action.
Without a Division I scholarship after his high school career, Hearn took a chance at big-time college basketball by enrolling at Northwestern and walking on to the team.
Although he made the team, getting used to those scrub minutes was not easy. He played a combined 72 minutes during his first two seasons at Northwestern.
Hearn began to doubt his abilities and entertained thoughts of ending his career. But those thoughts lasted about as long as he played on the court. “Each time I thought about it, I looked back and realized what I’ve gotten through before,” said the senior guard from Fort Wayne. “Just because this is at a higher level, doesn’t mean you can’t persevere.”
It was a good thing he did. Prior to the start of his junior season in 2011, injuries left the Wildcats without any depth at guard and gave Hearn his first opportunity to start at the college level. He took full advantage of the opportunity, starting all 33 games, playing more than 26 minutes per game and becoming the team’s fourth-leading scorer.
“Once I got out there junior year and started playing — and was able to somehow keep the starting spot — my confidence just continued to grow,” Hearn said.
Now the Wildcats have gotten healthier and added some talented recruits as they open the 2012–13 season. Hearn will have to fight to keep his starting spot, but he embraces the challenge.
“It’s going to make for some good competition,” he said. “We’re all going to duke it out for those spots. That’s going to make us a better team as a whole.”