Crumpacker: Surf's Up For Jimbo Lull
#WCChoops Tournament Feature on USF sophomore Southern Californian center
By John Crumpacker, #WCChoops Columnist
Since a Google search and a look-see at the Guiness World Records did not yield a result, WCC Sports is prepared to declare Jimbo Lull the world’s tallest surfer at 7-feet. He’s been a surfer longer than he’s been a basketball player, in fact.
But basketball is why Lull is in Las Vegas as a member of the San Francisco Dons, playing in the West Coast Conference Tournament at the Orleans Arena. Though not one of coach Kyle Smith’s better players, the sophomore Lull is improving, and he contributed 6 points, 7 rebounds and 1 block as the No. 4 Dons defeated No. 5 Pacific 71-70 in overtime on Saturday afternoon.
USF advanced to the semifinals on Monday night when, it will play top seed Gonzaga, a team that defeated the Dons twice during the season.
WCC Sports spent a few minutes with Lull after the game and used a piece of balsa wood to float him a list of 5 Questions.
Q: You’re from Manhattan Beach, so I suppose surfing came naturally for you, right?
A: I grew up surfing. It’s something I’ve always done with my dad (Richard Lull). My dad surfed for 45 years. He grew up in Manhattan Beach and he’s surfed since he was a kid.
Q: You must get some interesting reactions when you’re surfing, with your toes seven feet below the top of your head, yes?
A: You don’t get that many reactions in the water because it’s hard to tell how tall someone is. In the water, everyone is the same. It’s the equalizer.
Q: Worst wipeout?
A: Worst wipeout … it was at this place called Leo Carillo (between Malibu and Santa Barbara). My fin caught on some seaweed and my leash came off and I got chewed up in the rocks. Nothing too bad, though.
Q: Where have you surfed?
A: Sometimes we’ll go to Mexico. Hawaii. Up and down the Southern California coast.
Q: OK, here’s a basketball question. You’re contributing more now than you did early in the season. What’s behind your in-season improvement?
A: It’s having the right mindset. It’s being focused and ready to go. If I wanted to play I had to go hard. It’s a lot of credit to the coaches. They really inspired me to get better and work on my game. I really like it. I enjoy the school, I enjoy the team we have. I enjoy the coaching staff. Everybody on the team is good friends.
John Crumpacker spent more than three decades working at the San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle. During his career he has covered the full gamut of sports from prep to professionals. Most recently, Crumpacker served as the beat writer for Cal through the end of the 2013-14 season. In addition to covering 10 Olympic Games, Crumpacker served as the beat writer for the San Francisco 49ers. He is a two-time winner of the Track & Field Writers of America annual writing award and has several APSE Top 10 writing awards. Crumpacker has been covering #WCChoops since the 2014-15 season.