UCF Fastbreak - May 6

May 6, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - In 1996, Stanley Billings graduated from Oak Ridge High School in Orlando. Twelve years later, another graduation is in the books for Billings.

On May 3, one day after his 30th birthday, Billings received his bachelor's degree from UCF. The two graduations were separated by two stints in the Marines and two years at Independence Community College in Kansas.

Billings, who wrapped up his final campaign as UCF's center in March, never envisioned himself earning a college degree.

"To tell the truth, I never even thought that I would go to college or even graduate," he said. "When I got out of high school, I was tired of school and I didn't ever want to go back to school. That is why I chose to go in the Marine Corps."

Life in the Marines took Billings around the country and to various locations around the world. It was in the Marines where Billings stood out due to his height. He started playing organized basketball for the first time in 1997 and developed into a Division I prospect.

At 6-foot-11, Billings was one of the tallest players in UCF history. With his time at UCF now complete, Billings hopes to play overseas for a few years and then return to the United States.

He feels that he grew not only as a basketball player at UCF, but also as a person. UCF head coach Kirk Speraw agrees with Billings' assessment.

"Stanley had such a unique path to college. He came to UCF with some incredible life experiences from his time in the military, but he has really blossomed here. He did a good job with his studies and really took advantage of all that college has to offer," Speraw said.

When asked about his path to college graduation, which took him to military outposts like Cuba, Japan, Kuwait and Iraq, even Billings is amazed at his journey.

"Now that it is done, I look back and say that I have done a lot of stuff," he said.

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