John Fulkerson Discusses Returning For His Sixth Season on the Vols Basketball Team


In an age where college basketball players seem to transfer every year, Vols forward John Fulkerson is a relic. He announced last week that he will return to for his sixth season with Tennessee. Fulky met with the media Tuesday to talk about his decision.

John Fulkerson had a crazy few weeks to end last season.
An emotional senior day.
Then the elbow to the face in the SEC tournament, which also forced Fulky to miss the NCAA tournament. No wonder he wanted one more year on Rocky Top.
Said Fulkerson:”I just didn’t want to end it the way I did, especially if I had the chance to do it again and finish on my terms, then I would love to do that. I’d love to go out how I want to go out. Really it was God showing me that I had the opportunity and chance to do it one more time.”
The Vols have added a lot of help in the paint for next year’s team, but Fulkerson says that wasn’t a factor in his return.
Said Fulkerson:”I had my decision made up. Once we started getting all those recruits, it made me just so much more excited to let them know.”
Reporter:”The CBS pre-season poll had Tennessee 25th, and then it jumped to number 15 when you decided to come back. That’s a pretty nice compliment isn’t it?”
Said Fulkerson:”I thought we should have been ranked number one. I’m just kidding.”
Fulkerson is also ready to play again without a pandemic.
Said Fulkerson:”I did have COVID. I think that COVID affected a lot more than my play. I think I can go as far as having the fans in the arenas affected a lot of different programs. A lot of different people.”
And being a sixth year player does have some perks.
Said Fulkerson:”This will be the first time in seven years that I haven’t lived in a dorm, so I’m excited about that. I lived in a dorm in high school for two years, and then five years at Tennessee. So that’s another thing I’m very excited about is not living in a dorm.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at