Reed finds rhythm on court, in life
Jan. 20, 2010
Natalie England, TexasSports.com
AUSTIN, Texas -- Cokie Reed likes the cello because she doesn’t have to think, just feel and play.
“It’s an escape,” Reed says. “It’s a place to get away.”
Reed plays basketball for a similar reason. Not because she can disappear, but because of what it allows her to feel.
“I love it because of what it teaches you,” UT’s freshman center says. “It teaches you how to be part of a team, and how to trust each other.”
And what has Reed learned playing with the Texas Longhorns?
“Just to be thankful, and realize how blessed I am to be here,” she said.
So Reed has gone about her first collegiate season trying to make the most of her opportunity. She’s had seven double-figure scoring outings this year, and twice Reed has led the team in rebounding -- despite averaging just 16 minutes off the bench.
Reed has also tried to keep learning along the way. After she was virtually invisible with one point and only one field goal attempt in a loss to Texas A&M, Reed has accounted for 23 points, on 9-of-14 shooting, and nine rebounds in the two games since.
Coach Gail Goestenkors says that Reed “turned a corner” early in Big 12 Conference play, and Reed agrees.
“I feel like everything is slowing down,” Reed says. “It’s becoming second nature.”
That’s what Reed also experienced years ago when she first learned the cello. Already skilled on the piano, Reed got bored during her fifth-grade enrichment period, so she started looking for something to do.
“During that same period, orchestra also met, so that’s how I started,” Reed says.
Too long for the violin and viola, Reed was assigned the cello, and she immediately took to it. The music provided a rhythmic release, where her mind could wander and drift with the chords. And when she came back, basketball was always waiting.
Reed says she loves basketball because of the competition, and the relationships. Among the Longhorns, Reed is known as “grandma.” If there’s a gathering, it’s usually in Reed’s room, and if there’s a trip to the movies, she probably organized it.
“She takes care of everybody,” Goestenkors says. “She just has natural instincts as a caregiver.”