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Rawle Alkins trying to get driver’s license as he adjusts from New York to Tucson

Alkins is good at driving to the hoop, and now is getting better at driving a car

NCAA Basketball: Cal. State - Bakersfield at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Moving from New York to Tucson can be quite the culture shock and Rawle Alkins is still making the adjustment.

So far, it’s going well.

“It’s been amazing,” the freshman said of his time in Tucson. “An East Coast kid from New York City coming to Tucson, it’s a whole different life. ...I’m used to the cold and snow and now it’s just really hot. Over the summer it was like 110 degrees.”

Aside from differences in weather, time zones, food, people and other things, Tucson is different from New York in that public transportation isn’t as prevalent as it is in the Big Apple, plus things are spaced out more, meaning it’s more common for people to drive places.

“Being from New York you take the train or busses everywhere, so coming out here was a completely different life,” Alkins said.

The problem? Alkins doesn’t have his driver’s license.

“I told Bill Walton this the other day, I Uber everywhere because I can’t drive,” he said.

Alkins hopes that will change soon, though, as Monday — literally right after his media session — he plans to go to the DMV.

“Like today we have a day off, I plan on going with my cousin, actually today, to go to the DMV, so hopefully today I’ll be able to take the test,” he said. “My cousin is waiting for me outside.”

Alkins said he has been honing his driving skills late at night with his cousin, usually somewhere near campus.

“I just try to stay close to UofA,” he said. “I haven’t done the highway yet. I don’t know what to really expect on the test, but I know the rules and stuff. I did the written part and practiced that and hopefully I do well. Pray for me.”

If Alkins does take and pass the test, he assured other Tucson drivers they won’t have to worry about him on the road.

“I’ve been practicing,” he said. “The streets [are] going to be safe with me.”


You can follow this author on Twitter at @RKelapire