Time management is an important skill for any college student.
Students' entire futures rest upon their ability to adapt to the new freedoms and rigors of college life. For some, this skill is hard to acquire, but for UT men's basketball player Renaldo Woolridge, managing his time properly allows him to be more than simply a student-athlete.
When this 6-foot, 9-inch forward is not on the court or in the classroom, he can be found pursuing one of his greatest passions: music.
Like many basketball players before him, including Shaquille O'Neal, Ron Artest and Allen Iverson, Woolridge not only excels on the court, but also in the studio. In fact, it could be argued that Woolridge is known almost more for his rap persona of "Swiperboy" than he is for anything else.
Swiperboy burst onto the scene last year with his song "Eric Berry," a tribute and Heisman campaign for then-UT football star Eric Berry. Following that song's success, Woolridge has gone on to produce his own music, and he even created his own label, Swiperboy Entertainment. Despite all of his successes in the music world, Woolridge remains adamantly focused on basketball.
"I had a record label offer that I turned down to come back to school," Woolridge said.
And in a hypothetical choice of either another season of UT basketball or a chance to work with Dr. Dre, Woolridge said simply, "I'm going with basketball."
Woolridge comes from a basketball family. His father Orlando, was a 13-year veteran of the NBA, his older brother Zach played collegiately at Princeton, and his second cousin is NBA Hall of Famer and all-time Knicks great Willis Reed.
This basketball family is something that has helped him as he grows as a player.
"(The family) is all good," Woolridge said. "It definitely gives me the extra advantage to get through a lot of things, even now."
Woolridge singles out family members as inspirations to him, especially the success of his brother Zach, who now works in California. And when he is back home with his family, Woolridge said his favorite activity when he's not working out or writing lyrics is to go to the beach and relax.
When it comes to his likes and dislikes, Woolridge's tastes are like that of any college-aged person. His favorite movie is "Inception," and the TV show he watches most often is "Rocket Power." His favorite actor is Denzel Washington, and his favorite musician is Common.
Off the court, assistant coach Jason Shay sums up Woolridge's personality in one word, "effervescent." This infectious personality manifests itself in Woolridge's own rap name "Swiperboy," as he said it means "someone who goes out there and steals the stage."
When it to describing his own personality, Woolridge was plain.
"Goofy and unique," he said. "And well, there's not a real word for it; it's just not really caring about what people think about me. I'm an individual."
And as for his best trait on the court, both Shay and Woolridge cited his versatility.
With his height, athleticism and motor, Woolridge is able to play not only down low as a post player, but also move outside as a wing. Woolridge also brings a lot of energy to the game. Shay describes him as having "a great motor; he's got the best conditioning on the team."
His versatility and energy show up in all phases of Woolridge's life.
Woolridge is not just a student or an athlete or a musician. He is all three. He works hard in class, on the court and in front of the microphone.
While most students struggle to get out of bed in time for class, Woolridge is able to balance three seemingly full-time passions on a single plate. And as he said about his own ability to manage time, "I don't ever really have free time, but I'm never bored."