Dec. 22, 2000
By Mike Kreiger
Since moving from the East Coast to the Midwest, and then to Washington State University, there has been only one constant for Framecio Little: basketball.
Little, the Cougars' starting small forward, grew up in Anderson, S.C., and played high school basketball there. He moved on to play junior college ball at Dodge City College in Kansas.
"Pullman is a lot different compared to home," Little said. "It's a lot colder here. It's not very different than Kansas. Both are small college towns with snow in the winter. As far as basketball, everything has been the same. My high school was very competitive. The Jayhawk conference (in Kansas) is one of the top junior college conferences in the nation, so it was very competitive there as well."
"I like it here," the junior forward said. "It's been good so far, and it's just another learning experience in life."
A big learning experience was Little's high school career. He was named the South Carolina 4A Player of the Year after both his junior and senior seasons.
"My junior year was my best year," Little said. "That was my 'come out' year. I really think we should have won state, but we lost a key player due to some team violations, and that blew our chances."
Now that Framecio is at WSU, he has plans to help the program regain its winning form. What is unique about this team is that any player can step up at any moment in any game. The Cougars are winning games, but it is with an unfamiliar group of faces. Players in their first game as Cougars scored nearly half of WSU's 83 points in the win over Portland State. Little chipped in with eight points and 10 rebounds, and he likes the dynamics of this team.
"It's a lot like coach (Paul Graham) told us," Little said with a smile. "Some night it's going to be your night, and some night it's going to be others' turn to score. With this team, we have a chance to be really good as long as we stick together. As long as nobody cares who is putting the ball in the hoop, and everybody does his part, we can be dangerous. You never know whose turn it's going to be to score, that's just the way basketball is."
Although the 6-4 Little is a new face for the Cougars, he has instantly become one of the team leaders because of his experience and outgoing personality.
"My experience in JC made me a leader," Little said. "I'm a leader on this team, along with Eddie (Miller) and Cedric (Clark), in getting everybody going in the right direction. Overall, I'm a little more vocal than most players. I like to say my opinion and let everybody know how I feel and what's going on."
Coach Graham likes what he sees from Framecio, both as a player and a leader.
"Right now, Framecio is our starting small forward which is his natural position," Graham said. "He is doing very well in that role for us. Leadership is something we look for in all of our players. He is older and has been away from home before. He is a lot more mature and with along with that comes leadership."
Little, who can play several positions, leads the team in rebounding after the three regular season games with a 6.7 average. He attributes his aggressiveness on the boards to his high school football experience. "The main thing that really carried over from football to basketball is being physical," the former tight end and defensive end said. "I guess some of the footwork drills also helped for basketball."
With his presence on the defensive end and his rebounding skills, Little is one of Graham's key role players. Little understands his role and is eager to help the team.
"Coach tells me I have to go to the boards," Little said. "As far as I can remember, I have always been a solid rebounder because I had to rebound a lot everywhere I've been. It's just part of my role and part of my game that I accept."
Little plays a lot like his basketball idol, six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen. Both are good rebounders, solid defenders, and have the talents to play several positions on the court. Now he wants to reach Pippen-like success.
"I want to win a lot of games, and I would love it make it to the NCAA tournament," Little said with a glimmer in his eye. "That's what we're here to do."
With a unique name like Framecio, Little is instantly a fan favorite, not to mention a favorite of the public address announcers. Little often wonders how he got his name.
"I asked my mother," Little said with a glowing smile. "She told me she was in the hospital and didn't know what to name me, so I guess she was being creative, put some letters together and came up with Framecio. It's grown on me."
A communications major with a criminal justice minor, Little has a few diverse ideas as to what he might like to do after college.
"I don't really know what my plans are yet," Little said. "I would like to move into the broadcasting field or be a probation officer. Those are the two main things I'm looking at. It really doesn't matter where I go. I'm kind of getting a feeling how to live in every region."
With many options for the future, Little concentrates on helping turn the Cougars into a basketball power now. Along the way, this high-flying star could make "Framecio" a household name on the Palouse. One thing is for sure, Little will be leading the team and playing his ever-important role for the new look Cougars as they plan to surprise some Pac-10 opponents.