Ramon Vila's decision to go pro leaves glaring hole on UTC men's basketball roster
The past few months have largely been a time of optimism for those associated with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball program, with legitimate reasons to believe the Mocs might make 2020-21 their best season yet since Lamont Paris took over three years ago.
Despite several changes to the roster, a strong nucleus would return. The Mocs felt good about some backcourt additions — especially sophomore guard Malachi Smith, who sat out last season after transferring from Wright State — and they still had the experienced combination of guard David Jean-Baptiste and forward Ramon Vila.
That combo is now a player short after Vila recently announced on Instagram that he would forgo his final season of eligibility in Chattanooga and start his professional career back home in Spain. When the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports in mid-March, Vila was among the Mocs who remained on campus, which in his case meant being an ocean away from his family.
"I want to start this by saying thank you to everyone that has been with me these past two and a half years," the 6-foot-8, 242-pound Barcelona native wrote. "Coaches, teammates, classmates, fans, etc. I've had an amazing time at UTC and I'll be forever thankful for the opportunity coach Paris gave me at Chattanooga, where I enjoyed playing the sport I love and I got my degree.
"Go Cats" - in honor of Catamount man / Pickins
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” —Thomas Jefferson