It wasn’t the way things were supposed to end for John Fulkerson, getting helped off the court in Nashville. The story was too good for the final chapter to be written like it was at the SEC Tournament. That brings us to today, as Tennessee basketball got even better for the 2021-2022 season.
An East Tennessee native, who dreamed of playing basketball for his home state school, John Fulkerson didn’t feel right when his season was ended. Which brings us to his decision, as Fulkerson has decided to return for one more ride. If you are a Tennessee fan or even just a college basketball fan, I’d imagine you wanted to see Fulkerson end his college career on his terms.
Vol for Life 🧡 pic.twitter.com/TVZnCw4Fq8
— John Fulkerson (@fulkerson_john) April 16, 2021
So, with the announcement that he will be returning for another season in Knoxville, he gets to write the final chapter of his time playing for the Vols. When folks saw John crying on the court after the last home game this past season, many thought it was a sign of the future. But it wasn’t, it was a sign that you never know how things are going to turn out, so soak it in.
The return of Fulkerson takes this Tennessee basketball team to another level, I know it might sound wild after the great week in recruiting they’ve had. But this puts out at different level of expectations for next season. During this past season, Fulkerson dealt with everything from Covid fatigue to a bad back and wrist, things that hampered his game. It wasn’t the same guy that Tennessee fans watched destroy Kentucky in Lexington during the previous year, and it was just as tough on him.
As a college basketball fan, you look for a type of player like Fulkerson, who plays every game like it’s his last. So, Rick Barnes and his staff get the opportunity to coach him for one final season, with plenty of talent around him.
Who knows what his exact role will be next year, but I’d expect the John Fulkerson to take advantage of the opportunity that’s been given.
If you look back on Tennessee basketball in the future, this week will definitely be on the list of times where everything has seemed to go right. For Rick Barnes, it’s time to make good use of it, because he might not get a unit like this again.
Now John Fulkerson can finish the Tennessee chapter in his book, on his own terms. One more ride.