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Kansas’ Naadir Tharpe finds motivation in newborn daughter

Oct 29, 2012, 9:22 PM EDT

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I’m not a parent, but I’ve heard a lot of parents I know say that a child gives you more motivation to do better in life. Mainly because you’re no long living for just yourself or other adults.

According to an article by Gary Bedore of KUSports.com, sophomore Naadir Tharpe is taking that approach when it comes to earning more minutes at Kansas. Tharpe has a nine-month old daughter, Amara Grace, back home in Worcester, Mass.

The 5-11, 170-pound guard played in 32 of 39 games last season for the Jayhawks last season, but averaged only 5.5 minutes and less than one point, assist and rebound for a team that lost in the national championship game to Kentucky.

He’s now more motivated to improve as a player. But maybe more importantly, he’s improving as a person.

“Everything I do is no longer for myself now. It’s everything for her,” Tharpe said, acknowledging there’s even more desire someday to play basketball for pay with a child in his life.

Tharpe will have to improve a great deal to backup projected starter Elijah Johnson at the point and it seems like he’s on his way. He averaged 6.3 points per game on the team’s trip to Europe in 25.8 minutes per contest and led the team with 17 assists. He’ll also have incoming freshman Rio Adams to contend with, as well as

When you’re on a team that has won eight straight Big 12 regular season titles, finding motivation can be tough. But it seems like Tharpe has the ultimate motivation. And for a guy just trying to break the lineup, that’s a very valuable asset.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can find him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

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