Tis the season for trucks pulling trailers with lawn mowers to multiple yards per day. The man driving the GMC with a large, off-brand Ducks Unlimited logo on the cab window will do practically any outside home or lawn care job you want, unless it requires climbing on a two-story house.

That’s a dealbreaker. He’s not risking injury because the guy that just mowed the lawn may be off to start his professional basketball career as soon as the world resumes normal business.

Then, and only then, you’ll have to find someone other than Jared Savage to mow the lawn.

“As long as it’s like this, I’ll take as many yards as I can get,” Savage says after finishing up his sister’s lawn.

The hometown kid who starred at Warren Central and eventually became the most consistent player at Western Kentucky is like many waiting to return to work during the coronavirus pandemic. Savage’s plans at a Conference USA tournament championship were cut short in March, then he was waiting around at home to start working out for a professional basketball opportunity.

A week became two, then a month. The parks closed, so he couldn’t go fishing at his usual spot at Basil Griffin. WKU’s facilities closed, so he couldn’t get in the gym. Thank goodness for his friend with a basketball setup in his barn that allows Savage to get shots up.

“I sat in the house for long enough,” Savage said. “I was going crazy, so I had to get out and do something. Everyone knows I love the outdoors, hunting and fishing. Cutting yards is something I’ve done since I was little, so I thought I might as well make some money doing it.”

The 6-foot-5 Savage put the word out on Facebook for “Chopped Lawn Service by Jared Savage.” He’ll mow and trim any yard in Warren or Simpson counties seven days a week, same-day service if contacted by 10 a.m.

Savage put the post out on May 1 and picked up close to 10 customers pretty quickly. Most of his jobs have come from connections with teachers and coaches to his days at Warren Central High School. He was working on his high school coach’s yard recently when a woman approached him on the street for a landscaping job.

In a matter of one request, Savage’s summer business went from mowing and weed trimming to an all-out landscaping service. He dug up bushes, spread mulch and rock, tilled a garden and cut some trees down.

“I got paid nice for that,” Savage said. “I’ve pretty much done it all. I cleaned a woman’s gutters the other day. No two-story houses though. I can’t do that. I’ve done everything really. Just depends on how big it is and how hard it is.”

Savage wants the work, but he’s also ready to leave as soon as basketball calls.

He recently hired Jeff Whitney as his agent for whenever the day comes that he can start a different career. Whitney is also the agent of hometown star and NFL offensive lineman George Fant, who recently signed a new deal with the New York Jets.

This current stretch is the longest break Savage says he’s had from basketball since middle school. When the team got back from the Conference USA tournament it never played, Savage was relegated to working out in the weight room set up in his mom’s garage or running Hospital Hill downtown.

He hasn’t seen any of his now former teammates since the team returned from Texas, even his roommate Carson Williams, who moved back home to Owenton. Basketball ended earlier than expected in March with the Hilltoppers looking to make a run at the tournament, which was canceled March 12, the same day WKU was supposed to play in the quarterfinals.

“You were numb, almost,” Savage said. “You’re used to either winning a championship or getting your heart broken. There’s no in-between. You couldn’t really be mad about it. It was shocking, almost. I thought we had a good chance to go win it. I liked our team and our chemistry. We bonded in that locker room closer than probably any team I’ve been on. The things we went through that season, just put us that much closer.”

Savage said he counts himself blessed that he and fellow senior Camron Justice can even pursue a further career in basketball, even if that’s on hold for the time being. Savage averaged 34.6 minutes in all 30 games last season with 11.7 points per game and leading the team after Charles Bassey’s injury with 7.1 rebounds per game. He also led the team with 33 blocked shots and had 37 steals, showcasing as one of Rick Stansbury’s most dependable players during WKU’s 20-10 season.

“The country could open up next week and I’ll be gone overseas,” Savage said. “… Luckily we have the talent to go play somewhere else. There are some seniors in the country, they’re just done and that’s how their career ended, drop of the hat. Just thankful that I can go play pro ball somewhere.”{&end}

– Follow WKU athletics beat writer Elliott Pratt on Twitter @EPrattBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.

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