Connor MacDougall simply can’t hide his smile. If you’re familiar with his unique journey to Utah Valley University, it’s easy to understand why.
The 6-foot-9, 240-pounder has been, in many ways, a basketball vagabond hopscotching from school to school dating back to his freshman season at Desert Vista High School. For one reason or another, many times out of his control, MacDougall often failed to find stability on his way to Orem, Utah.
Now that’s just a distant memory as he’s thriving on and off the court at UVU.
“It just felt right,” MacDougall said to Sports360AZ.com with a smile about his decision to sign with the WAC school after his last stop at the University of New Mexico. “Definitely my confidence has grown. Just the trust level I have with this group.”
Much of that trust was instilled by Wolverine head coach Mark Pope, a former college standout at the University of Washington and Kentucky who played seven seasons in the NBA.
“One of the things about taking hard roads is, especially for the guys who are at our place, it makes you tough,” Pope explained to Sport360AZ.com. “It gives you a quiet determination…Connor is an icon of that. It’s been extraordinary to watch him grow.”
Said growth was punctuated last week when he earned WAC Player of the Week honors after setting a single-game school record for consecutive field goals made against Idaho State.
“This Connor MacDougall…his name’s gonna be in the record books….He saved us, ’cause we were stuck.” -Coach Mark Pope pic.twitter.com/vEoaSIdAgK
— UVU Athletics (@GoUVU) December 20, 2018
MacDougall’s success doesn’t comes as a surprise to one of his mentors who has helped guide the graduate transfer through some of his most trying times on and off the court as a teenager.