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UW men’s basketball team enjoying Conway’s football success

December 5, 2016

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming men’s basketball team might not have wanted Austin Conway to leave, but it’s clear he knew what he was doing.

Conway redshirted last year with the basketball Cowboys but decided after spring ball to play for the football team instead.

In his first season, the freshman receiver has passed for a touchdown, returned a punt for a touchdown and ran for a touchdown.

His former teammates have taken note.

“I’m really proud of him,” Wyoming forward Jordan Naughton said. “That’s my roommate, and I’ve known him since last year. We’ve gotten really close, and he’s just a football guy. He just has it in his mind. He has it in his heart, and that’s just what he’s really born to do, I feel like.

“I’m just glad to see him thriving and striving to be great in football. I know he’ll just be great at whatever he does in life.”

That Conway, who played quarterback for Overland (Colorado) High School, seems to belong on a football field is a common sentiment among players on the men’s basketball team.

“I mean, don’t get me wrong, he could play,” senior guard Jason McManamen told the Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/2g1vEhv). “He could play basketball, definitely. But I think you could just tell his heart was always on the football side of it, and I’m happy that he’s gotten this opportunity.”

Conway’s most recent touchdown came on his birthday, a 10-yard reverse at New Mexico.

“Definitely felt good to break one,” he said. “I felt like we could’ve broken one earlier in that game, just because of the way our guys were blocking. They were doing a great job, and they continued to do a great job, and we ended up springing that one for a touchdown. It definitely felt great. We’ve been running that all year and having some success, so it was just great getting the end zone.”

But his favorite of the three touchdowns was his 60-yard punt return touchdown at UNLV, which briefly gave Wyoming the lead.

“It was just exciting in the moment of the game,” he said. “When it happened and electrifying the away crowd like that, I think that was probably the most exciting and I would say my favorite.”

“Every time he’s in a punt return, I’m hoping for a return,” Wyoming men’s basketball coach Allen Edwards said. “Not a touchdown all the time, but something nice.”

Wyoming’s win last week against Denver was the first men’s basketball game this season Conway had a chance to attend. Conway said he still keeps in touch with his former basketball teammates, especially freshman forward Andrew Moemeka, who redshirted with Conway last season.

Moemeka initially tried to keep Conway on the hardwood.

“I did at first, because I didn’t really realize how much football meant to him,” Moemeka said. “But once I talked to him about it and everything, and I understood that that’s what he wanted to do, I left it alone.

″... I actually thought he was getting better on the basketball side, but I guess he just one day realized that it’s not something he wanted to do. I don’t really know the details behind his decision, but he just changed his mind.”

Conway is on good terms with the basketball coaches, too.

“I still love Coach Edwards, love the coaching staff,” he said. “Those were my coaches. They’re still my coaches.”

One thing that doesn’t surprise the Wyoming men’s basketball team is Conway’s speed.

“I just remember him getting the rebound or the outlet pass and just running the floor, beating everybody down court or things like that,” Naughton said. “I’m not surprised that he’s so successful in football with his returning or doing whatever he does.

“He’s just hard to catch.”

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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