Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

MEC BASKETBALL ; STATES LITTLE BIG MAN; Fomby Brings Toughness, Versatility to the Floor

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

MEC BASKETBALL ; STATES LITTLE BIG MAN; Fomby Brings Toughness, Versatility to the Floor

Article excerpt

Robert Fomby does not care where on the floor he plays for West Virginia State's basketball team. He can work as a guard. He can move down to power forward, albeit a relatively short one. All Fomby wants is a place on the court and a job while he's there.

"I just knew I had a role and I had to play with some heart and ambition, he said. "I just wanted to come in and give the best effort I can.

He has done just that at the start of his Yellow Jackets career. In State's first four games, the transfer from Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio has provided a boost in the team's scoring and become its leader on the boards.

That tenacity in rebounding is something State coach Bryan Poore noticed as he recruited the 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior and something he knew Fomby could bring immediately to the Yellow Jackets roster.

"He just snags everything, Poore said. "He fights his own players for rebounds.

No matter who he fights on the glass, he often wins. Through four games this season, he's tied with two others for second in the Mountain East Conference with 9.8 rebounds per game. He finished three of those four games with double-digit boards.

His top game came Monday in State's 85-65 win over the University of Virginia College at Wise, when he pulled down 13 rebounds.

"I know I'm an athletic wing, considering I'm undersized, Fomby said. "When I was younger, my dad emphasized it. I just like to grab rebounds.

In using the term "undersized with Fomby, it has to do with his height. His frame, thick and muscular, is built for mixing it up in the paint. It might look like he could get lost in a crowd of taller players, but he'll often make his own daylight, flying through the middle, corralling the basketball with one hand and ripping it toward his body.

Poore said Fomby's rebounding skills have less to do with his size and more to do with his strength and determination. …

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