by Ryan Peterson
Eric Bell has been overlooked most of his life.
"When I went to McLennan (Junior College) I went to recruit a couple of his teammates," Head Coach Danny Kaspar says of a recruiting trip to Waco.
It's easy to be overlooked when your listed as five feet three inches tall.
"Officially I'm 5'4''," Bell rings in.
Still tiny in the world of college hoops.
"Sometimes if we go out someplace, some of them (S.F.A. teammates) call me their son," Bell says.
Squeeze as his teammates call him, is used to the teasing. Bell always has the last laugh.
"The best part is earning respect," Bell says. "I just try to outthink my opponents."
"He seemed to be the key to their success," Kaspar says of seeing Bell at McLennan. "I didn't care if he was 5'3'' or 6'3''."
Kaspar says if Bell was six inches taller, he'd probably be in the Big 12.
Bell's vertically challenged stature hasn't hurt his game. The sophomore leads the Southland Conference in assists.
"I just learned if it was something I really wanted, I had to go get myself," Bell says. "There weren't going to be too many handouts."
No handouts, but a lot of prayers from coach.
"There's a lot of things I pray for," Kaspar says. "One of them is that none of my players get hurt. But at 5'3'' he gets a little extra prayer."