Knoxville, TN — Kingsport native John Fulkerson who announced last week that he would return for a 6th season at the University of Tennessee faced the media on Tuesday.
After an outstanding junior season, there was a lot expected from the senior forward, but he struggled through much of his senior season, battling lingering injuries and even a bout with COVID.
In his final game at Thompson-Boling arena Fulkerson was pretty sure he was not returning, but following an elbow from Florida’s Omar Payne during the SEC Tournament in Nashville that left him with a fracture his face.
The season came to a close two games early which meant he was unable to play the next day against Alabama and was again forced to miss the next game — the NCAA Tournament loss to Oregon State.
It was not the way Fulkerson wanted to end his Big Orange career.
(JOHN FULKERSON) ” I just didn’t want to end it the way that I did, especially if I had the chance to do it again and finish on my terms, then I would love to do that and I would love to go out how I want to go out. So the more I thought about that, the more it got me excited to have the ability to return. I do see myself as a player-coach because I’ve played for coach Barnes for awhile now and I think that I know what he’s wanting and know his system and I think that it’s great to have a voice out there that can help the guys.”