February 16, 2006

Transfer Hartford Makes Impression

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While junior forward Jason Hartford rocked the socks off Yale last Saturday – scoring a career-high 21 points – there’s only one pair of socks he’s rocked for every game of his entire collegiate basketball career.

The holey items are official NBA socks from the Portland Trailblazers – a gift from his brother Jared, who won them back in middle school at a Trailblazers’ basketball camp.

“The smell’s not too bad,” Hartford said. “They get cleaned, they get washed, but they have a couple of holes in them – a little wear and tear.”

Although his socks may be falling apart, Hartford’s game is just coming together. Transferring from Chemeketa Community College, where he earned first-team all-league honors, averaging 15.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, Hartford has already become an important part of Cornell’s offense in just his first season with the Red.

At 6-9, Hartford gives Cornell a prominent post player inside, but he has also proven that he’s more than just your ordinary big man. With 11 treys on the season, Hartford has shown himself to be a threat from the outside as well.

“I’ve always been able to step out and hit the shot,” Hartford said. “I think it’s been one of the strengths in my game.”

Averaging 8.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, Hartford is shooting 56.1 percent from the field this season.

“The best thing about him is that he’s a big player first of all, but he’s skilled. So we’re not sacrificing size for a guy that’s not going to be able to pass,” said head coach Steve Donahue. “He can pass, he can dribble, he can step away from the basket and shoot