Jeremy Dewalt carries on his father’s athletic legacy
You’re either a Maverick by birth or choice. Sophomore basketball player Jeremy Dewalt is both.
“I felt like coming to UTA would be an opportunity to get better and to get a good education,” Dewalt said. “My dad went there. I know it’s a really good school and I wanted to play basketball in college. I thought UTA was the best option.”
Roy Dewalt, the Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 1978 and 1979, went on to a stellar professional career with the British Columbia Lions in the Canadian Football League. He compiled more than 20,000 passing yards from 1980-87 and led the Lions to a Grey Cup championship (the CFL’s version of the Super Bowl) in 1985. He was named the game’s most valuable offensive player.
“I thought going to UTA would be a good fit for Jeremy,” said Roy, a ninth-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns. “I relished the opportunity for him to go there.
“My years at UTA were fun days. I can remember day one coming up there and thinking this is a good place for me. I met a lot of great people there and just wanted to give everything I had.”
Roy Dewalt helped UT Arlington to a 9-2 record in 1979, setting single-season school records for most points scored (342) and total offense (4,304 yards).
But his son chose basketball over football.
An all-district player as a senior at Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas, near Houston, Jeremy redshirted his freshman season at UT Arlington and played a handful of games a year ago. But first-year coach Scott Cross sees dramatic improvement since the first time Dewalt walked into Texas Hall.
“He is an unbelievable kid. He came in extremely raw his freshman year and has improved tremendously over the past two years,” Cross said. “He may be the most improved on the team. He works hard, he gives us depth at small forward and is one of our better shooters.”
Dewalt sees the progress himself.
“I feel like I am getting better every day,” he said. “I’m working hard to be ready any time he (Cross) needs me. I just want to help the team win conference.”
UT Arlington opens men’s basketball play Nov. 11 at Texas Hall against UT Tyler.
— Bill Petitt