Over his four-year career, Aamir Simms has become one of the more distinguished players to come through the Clemson basketball program in quite some time.
Simms led the Tigers in every major statistical category this season and was named second-team All-ACC for his efforts. He will now lead the Tigers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since his freshman season as No. 7 seed Clemson is set to face No. 10 seed Rutgers on Friday night.
Simms said he and the rest of the team know that the Tigers need look no further than the football team for inspiration and that his relationship with head coach Dabo Swinney has provided him with plenty of motivation during his four-year career.
“Our relationship has definitely been mutual,” Simms said on Wednesday. “Just seeing the success he’s had has definitely been an inspiration to me and motivation for us to get our program to the next level, similar to what he did.”
The senior from Virginia said his relationship with Swinney goes all the way back to the first time he visited the school’s campus
“It kind of started back on my visit just talking to him,” Simms said. “Since I stepped foot on campus Dabo has been in my corner and wanted to see me succeed and take our program to the next level. He’s done nothing but support me.”
Simms said on the nights that the Tigers lose, it’s Swinney that will often be one of the first people to reach out. The Clemson football coach has even been known to give him pointers on improving his game.
“Even if we lose he’s one of the first people to text me and jump on me and kind of give me pointers and just keep talking to me,” Simms said. “In my ear about how to lead the team and stuff like that.”
Simms says that throughout his career at Clemson, Swinney has always been one of the Tigers’ biggest supporters. Even after he leaves to begin the next chapter in his basketball career, whenever that is, Simms said that he knows that support will continue. For him personally and the Clemson basketball program.
“He wants nothing but to see us succeed and take our program to the next level.”