clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

‘It’s a huge opportunity and blessing’: Tarris Reed Jr. gifted saxophone as part of NIL deal

Reed Jr. spoke with us about growing up playing, the Euro Trip and how he’s settling into Michigan so far.

As part of an NIL deal through MGoDao, Michigan Wolverines freshman basketball player Tarris Reed Jr. was gifted an alto saxophone from Cameron’s Music in Livonia.

Reed Jr. has played the baritone saxophone all his life, but has played the alto sax since sixth grade, so he was happy to play an alto saxophone for the first time since middle school.

The alto saxophone being gifted to Reed Jr. by Cameron’s Music

“Honestly, it’s a huge opportunity and blessing,” Reed Jr. said. “It’s really a different experience playing alto; I get to expand my range with the saxophone.”

Ken Cameron, the store’s owner, and his wife were wearing their Michigan gear for the gifting. They are big Michigan fan, and were thankful they were able to provide Reed Jr. with something he loves outside of basketball.

“It’s fantastic. Right from the beginning, I thought it was a great marriage of ideas,” Cameron said. “Music and sports, he’s a fine young man. I loved (the idea) right from the start. It’s a great opportunity, and we’re very grateful to be a part of it.”

As is the case with most middle schoolers across the country, Reed Jr. was faced with the choice of what music class he wanted to take. His mother encouraged him to try to learn to play an instrument, and he’s never looked back.

“Going into middle school, I didn’t really know what to do. It was either choir or play an instrument,” Reed Jr. said. “My mom said ‘try an instrument,’ so first it was trumpet. I was going to try trumpet, but eventually alto (saxophone) was the one that really gained my attention, so that’s what I picked.”

The Reeds pose for a family photo with Tarris’ new saxophone

On the 247Sports composite, the 6-foot-10 center is the highest ranked commit among Michigan’s 2022 class. Reed Jr. headlines a talented class that includes fellow four-stars Jett Howard, Dug McDaniel and Gregg Glenn, as well as Lebanese forward Youssef Khayat.

Reed Jr. admitted in an interview with Maize n Brew he struggled with time management when he first got to Ann Arbor, but he has loved all the opportunities that have been given to him thus far.

“It was difficult when I first got here, not gonna lie,” Reed Jr. said. “It was difficult, being able to manage basketball, being able to manage school. But day-by-day, I feel myself getting more acclimated and it’s getting easier. I’m really enjoying my Michigan experience.”

Among those opportunities was a chance to travel across the world with his Michigan teammates and coaches. Earlier this summer, the team played a few exhibition games and took time to visit parts of France and Greece.

When asked about it, Reed Jr. couldn’t stop raving about that trip.

“That was my first time out (of) the country,” Reed Jr. said. “Usually when people go out the country the first time, it might be to Canada or Mexico, and I jumped to the top tier. We went to Paris, Athens and Mykonos — that’s big time. A lot of people really don’t get to see Mykonos or any of those countries in their lifetime so me being in my position, I took advantage of the opportunity.

“It was a great way to go out there and see where we were as an early team. Now I feel like, as a team, we’re bonded and connected. So, I know we won, I know the strengths (of my teammates), I know their weaknesses, but I know that trip made us stronger.”

Things feel a little bit surreal for Reed Jr., who has dreamed of playing at the collegiate level since he was a kid. He’s thankful he gets to do that at Michigan with a coach who has played the same position as him.

“It’s a dream come true,” Reed Jr. said. “As a kid, I had my Michigan sweater, I used to wear it everywhere I go. So now, looking back, now that I’m actually here, I have to take advantage of the opportunity. And with these opportunities, you have to take advantage of them day by day, so that’s what I’m doing.”

“Honestly, because of coach Howard,” Reed Jr. said when asked why he wanted to come to Michigan. “Through the recruitment process, I felt like all the coaches were genuine. And Coach Howard, he’s been in my shoes, he’s been in my position, and he’s been where I want to go to. Also, he played my position, so I feel that he will push me to that next level, and he has been doing it so far.”