Tennessee freshman basketball player Drew Pember makes gains before season

Tennessee Athletics photo by Maury Neipris / Tennessee men's basketball player Drew Pember, right, has worked to add healthy weight to his 6-foot-9 frame ahead of his freshman season with the Vols.

KNOXVILLE - Drew Pember is not uncommon among college athletes in having goals for his freshman year.

Heading into his first basketball season at Tennessee, though, his objectives to date have not been potential on-court accomplishments.

For him, it was about getting stronger and adding weight to a 6-foot-9 frame that at the time carried 190 pounds. He and "Ticket" - fellow freshman Davonte Gaines - were enrolled in what was called a "skinny camp" that required them to eat regularly throughout the day. In addition to consuming lunch and dinner while observed by strength and conditioning coach Garrett Medenwald, they had to drink four shakes and eat four snacks a day and "had to send a picture to him so he knew we ate it."

"There were days I was like, 'I do not want to drink this,' just because I felt like I was going to throw up," Pember told the Times Free Press recently, adding he did vomit on a couple of occasions "but it's paid off."

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