Because I know next to nothing about basketball, I thought I'd try to impress you with my expertise. This blog is supposed to be eclectic, a tour de force of dilettantism, so who's better to write about basketball than me?
My nominee for Grizzly Mamma of the year goes to Linda Bryant, mother of Thomas Bryant and, get this straight, both are names you should know.
Thomas Bryant is one of the most sought after high school basketball players in the world. The whole basketball world is watching to see where he will go with his stupendous talents. But this column is not about him; it's about his mom, and her interview by Chris Carlson in the Syracuse Post-Standard.
Believe me, this is the type of mom everyone should have. There would be no Michael Brown tragedies if every mom in America guarded her sons the way this woman is doing. Okay, let's just stipulate one thing. Thomas Bryant is one sensational young basketball player. He is also young. Many things can happen to the young. His mom is going to make sure that only the right and good things happen to her kid. This is just as things should be.
This youngster's experience lately has to do with choosing a college where he will play basketball before, if things go well, he gets picked up by the NBA. There is no need to embellish the story with a florid style or with journalistic sleight of hand. Linda Bryant speaks for herself and here's what she said to the Post-Standard reporter:
- "It's down to two (schools) Syracuse and Indiana."
- Linda corrected the reporter who thought that Missouri might be a third choice since one of his former coaches works there. "They're trying to get into it," she said. Meaning, there is no chance.
- Linda Bryant also dispelled rumors that her son might choose Kentucky, another giant in the college basketball industry. But he was only going there to visit with two of his teammates from high school, Linda told the reporter.
- And while there's much to like, what I like best about Mamma Grizzly Linda Bryant's input into her son's well-being is what she says about Indiana where, according to the newspaper, six of Indiana's thirteen basketball scholarship players have been implicated in either failed drug tests or underage alcohol infractions. Linda puts it best when she says of Indiana: "They have a lot going on. It seems like we went down there on false pretenses. They didn't tell us anything about failed drug tests or that type of thing going on. My son doesn't need to be around that stuff."
- Trust me, this Mamma Grizzly is no naif and has plenty more to say in expressing love and concern for Thomas. Get it straight, don't spare the horse, kick the tires, the woman's on fire. While her son heard a lot from Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkins, she wants it all to go directly from her lips to God's ears: "It's great that we hear from Coach Hopkins. But I told Coach Boeheim, my son needs to hear from you."