Bovine Blog: How An African Tribal Philosophy Guides No. 18 USU

Jan 23, 2024, 3:39 PM | Updated: 5:54 pm

LOGAN, Utah – It’s no accident that the Utah State Aggies have flourished under first-year head coach Danny Sprinkle despite returning nearly zero production from last year’s NCAA Tournament team.

Sprinkle joined the Talking Grammer podcast on Monday, January 15. Sprinkle spoke with Albuquerque Journal reporter Geoff Grammer about the Aggies’ success and ability to sacrifice for each other.

RELATED: No. 18 Utah State Improves With ‘Gut-Check Game’

Under Sprinkle, the traditional African philosophy has taken root. Used by the Boston Celtics during their 2008 NBA championship run, Ubuntu is a philosophy Sprinkle became familiar with while working as an assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton.

“They needed to sacrifice and play for each other in order to win a championship,” Sprinkle said of the Celtics.

Derived from the Zulu and Xhola languages, ubuntu roughly translates to “humanity towards others”.

For the Aggies, their end-of-huddle rallying cry is the idea that each individual’s actions have a large impact on those around them.

RELATED: Cougars & Aggies Drop In Latest AP Top 25, Utes Receive Votes

“It got guys thinking,” Sprinkle said. “I can’t score if somebody doesn’t throw me the ball. I can’t get a rebound unless somebody misses a shot. In this game of basketball, you have to rely on your teammates.”

“It’s not just us; it’s everybody in the community that’s supporting us. Once you realize that is when you can really start being great and being excellent.”

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The Aggies face the Boise State Broncos (13-5, 4-1) on Saturday, January 27 at ExtraMile Arena in Boise, Idaho. Tip-off is at 2 p.m. (MT).

Utah State is 36-21 all-time against the Broncos in a series that began in 1974. USU won by 13 in last year’s regular-season finale, ending a five-game losing streak to Boise State. The Aggies followed that win by upsetting BSU in the Mountain West Tournament semifinals with a 72-62 win.

Listen to USU basketball games on KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard on the call.

Find KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics here.

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Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s coverage of the Bees, Big League Utah, and Aggie athletics here.

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Bovine Blog: How An African Tribal Philosophy Guides No. 18 USU