Jul 12, 2013, 6:57 PM EST
In his freshman season at the University of Utah, 6-7 forward Jordan Loveridge proved to be one of the better freshmen in the Pac-12. Playing alongside center Jason Wahsburn,
Loveridge averaged 12.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game for a team that improved its win total by nine games and won four straight before losing to eventual Pac-12 tournament champion Oregon in the semifinal round.
With Washburn and leading scorer Jarred DuBois both out of eligibility, more will be required from both Loveridge and fellow sophomore Brandon Taylor if Larry Krystkowiak’s Utes are to take the next step towards respectability in a league that has improved.
With that in mind Loveridge has gone about the task of reshaping his body, eschewing the junk foods that so many young college students succumb to in favor of healthier choices. But the reason for the change wasn’t solely about basketball, according to Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune.
For years his father, Bill Loveridge, has worked the graveyard shift for a packaging company. Though often exhausted after leaving work at five each morning, he would still take Jordan to the local gym to shoot jumpers before school started. That basketball bond is just one reason Loveridge and his father are extremely close.
In late March, Bill Loveridge was diagnosed with diabetes, a condition which has required him to lose significant weight and to watch what he eats.
Jordan Loveridge wasn’t about to sit back and watch his father take the journey alone. So he and his dad educated themselves on the process of eating right.
“As close as we are, it’s something that’s made us closer,” Bill Loveridge said. “We talked about it once, and then we’ve just kind of gone out and done it.”
Loveridge has reportedly lost some 25 pounds since the end of the season, a development which could lead to him spending even more time on the perimeter in 2013-14.
But where he plays next season will depend on Utah’s personnel, as the lack of depth inside in 2012-13 resulted in Loveridge spending more time at the four than originally anticipated. Regardless of which position Loveridge plays, he has the talent needed to emerge as one of the Pac-12′s better forwards as a sophomore.
The hope is that his weight loss will benefit Utah on the court, but the potential benefits from a family standpoint shouldn’t be ignored either.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
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