For the last couple of weeks, Ben Solesbee has been standing on street corners with a sign in hand, just hoping to draw attention from strangers passing by on foot and in their cars.
No, he’s not in a costume, twirling a business sign or asking for money. Rather, the North Texas fifth-grade science teacher is promoting a person he truly believes in: Eric Cook, a senior at W.T. White High School in Dallas.
Standing 5’9,” Cook isn’t your prototypical DI basketball prospect in size, but he averaged 21 points, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds per game during his final high school season. Combine that with a 3.7 GPA and you’d hope that division I schools would be after the talented and hard-working teen.
However, that hasn’t been the case. So, Solesbee, one of Cook’s coaches, has been stepping up to bat. He’s been making signs to highlight the “special guard,” and standing outside for an hour at a time to display Cook’s stats and accomplishments to North Texas drivers. His intention is to grab the attention of division one coaches, staff members or anyone who might pass the information on to them. A little media attention doesn’t hurt either.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to get Eric Cook to Division 1,” Solesbee told WFAA. “I’m doing a disservice to myself and my school if I don’t get him a scholarship.”
The coach has already called and emailed schools he feels could benefit from Cook’s talent, but those attempts haven’t yielded any results. So, he’s trying something different.
“He’s going out of his way and he doesn’t have to do it,” Cook said. “I’m blessed to have a coach like him.”
Solesbee has been posting pictures on his Twitter account with #GetEricCooktoD1, hoping the hashtag will begin trending.
Twitter do your thing.
— Coach_Solesbee (@Swolesbee) May 24, 2018
It would be heartwarming to see a division one school offer Cook something out of this effort. But, if that doesn’t happen, all signs — street-side or not — point to him having a successful college career. The same can be said for Solesbee and his future in coaching.