SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Former Louisiana State University pitcher and National Champion Paul Skenes spoke at the Independence Bowl Kickoff Dinner Tuesday night.

As the featured speaker, the No. 1 Major League Baseball Draft Pick shared his journey to LSU and what life as a Tiger was like.

“The biggest thing for me is the people,” Skenes said. “It wasn’t like that at the beginning of the year last year. It took a while for me to relate to my teammates and see how they tick and that kind of thing. We had come from such different backgrounds but now the relationships we have, we are unbelievably close. Obviously, we did something that we are going to carry for the rest of our lives. Just because of how cool that is, we are going to have that bond.”

The 47th Independence Bowl will kick off on December 16 at 8:15 p.m. It’s a prime-time matchup between teams from the Big 12 and Pac-12.