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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Men's Basketball

UH’s Tramon Mark excited for much anticipated return to the court

UH guard Tramon Mark goes through a shooting drill during a practice. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

UH guard Tramon Mark goes through a shooting drill during a practice. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

Watching him fire off shots from behind the arc with confidence in preseason practice, you would never have guessed that UH men’s basketball junior guard Tramon Mark had barely gotten to touch the floor of an NCAA basketball game in full health since he was a freshman.

Fans of the UH men’s basketball program may remember Mark’s freshman year for his half-court buzzer-beater that lifted the Cougars over Memphis just weeks before the NCAA Tournament.

Mark became the senior night savior for the Cougars and was subsequently – as only a freshman – a force throughout UH’s 2021 Final Four run including scoring game-winning put-back bucket to lift UH past Rutgers in the Round of 32.

Unfortunately for Mark, his sophomore year wasn’t quite as picture-perfect. A left shoulder injury during a preseason scrimmage took the former Dickinson High School star off the court before the Cougars’ 2021-22 season even began. 

Hopes remained high that Mark would be able to return in the still-young season for UH, and he did. He played in seven games, including UH’s historic 111-44 win against Bryant where Mark scored a team-high 22 points off the bench. 

Just over a week after that performance, in a close Dec. 11th matchup against Alabama, the guard reaggravated his shoulder. This time, Mark was shut down for the season, undergoing a successful shoulder surgery that ended his year.

“I would say my rehab was tough,” Mark said, reflecting on his injury and the extensive rehab process that followed. “It was a tough time for me, being away from the team. Not traveling with the team.”

Still, Mark says the recovery process was an experience that helped him grow. 

“While I was away I definitely learned a lot,” Mark said. “I got the time to think about everything and just heal myself the right way. I’m glad for that.” 

Mark said he felt supported throughout his rehab process, particularly by his family and the trainers, among others.

“Being at home with my family, them helping me move around. That first week out of surgery, it was very crucial for me,” Mark said. “The first month, I couldn’t really do anything.”

Despite both Mark and star guard Marcus Sasser going down for the year within days of each other last December, the Cougars proved resilient, making a statement Elite Eight run while missing two of their core players.

“I loved it,” Mark said of watching his team’s performance last season. “What they did was great. You know, me going down, Marcus going down, the outside people thought the season had gone down. I’m proud of that team.”

Now back from a rough season of rehab, Mark is looking forward to the year ahead.

In addition to the returns of Mark, Sasser and several other core members of last year’s team, the Cougars have added several exciting new recruits including forwards Jarace Walker and Terrance Arceneaux. In turn, UH enters the season considered a formidable National Championship contender. 

For Mark, his eyes are set on one thing as he returns to the court in a UH uniform.

“Just winning,” Mark said.

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