Fil-Am basketball star finds new home at University of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — After playing a semester at Southern Methodist University (SMU) last year, Filipino American basketball star Sedrick Barefield has found a new home at the University of Utah.

Prepping for the upcoming season, Barefield has spent most of his summer at Utah’s practice facility, honing his basketball skills and building chemistry with his new teammates.

“It’s great competition going against them in pickups and practice every single day, and we just help each other get better,” he said.

After averaging 20.6 points per game during his senior season at Centennial High School in Corona, California, the former three-star recruit was expected to be the future of SMU’s backcourt. But last December, after receiving just 16 minutes of playing time in five games, he decided to transfer to Utah.

Barefield arrived in Salt Lake City last January. Though he has yet to play an official game, he’s enjoyed his time as a Ute and believes his new school is a better fit for him on and off the court.

“I just did a lot of praying and seeking God, and I think this is where he wants me to be,” he said.

With Utah, Barefield will compete in the Pac-12, one of the top conferences in college basketball. He’ll also get the chance to return to Southern California for games against USC and UCLA.

“My family will come see me play, and being back home will be a great feeling,” he said. “Playing in Los Angeles and having some guys from the IE come out and support will be fun.”

Last season, Utah finished second in the conference, and Barefield believes the Utes have the talent to be a top team again this year.

“I think if we listen to what the coaches have planned for us, and we execute, I think that the sky’s the limit for us,” he said. “I think we can take it as far as we want as long as we give it all we have.”

Since Barefield played the first semester of his freshman season at SMU, he may not be able to play for Utah until the end of December. But he said his new team has sent a waiver to the NCAA that may make him eligible for the team’s first game later this fall.

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