Mark 'mad dog' Madsen, Tom Tolbert, Bill Laimbeer - we all love the hard driving big man on the basketball court. Not just because of of their contradiction to the more elegant athletes out there, but because they make us feel like we can do it too. Guess what, we can't. The shooters, passers and strategic rebounders all have their designated spot on the roster. If you are a 'garbage man', like the 3 aforementioned clumsy heroes, your job is far more difficult. Get out there, throw some elbows, dive for the loose ball, grab a rebound and intimidate the opponent's star player from taking the big shot. These guys may look inelegant in the process but they can save their team the 6 to 8 points that make the difference in the game.
Introducing Josh Harrellson. The University of Kentucky's rebounding, shot blocking, elbow throwing, clumsy hero! Another inductee into the crazy white guy hall of fame. Against Ohio State, Harrellson busted his eye open and endured. Against North Carolina, He hit the deck hard and got up to charge his opponent. He is unfiltered, raw, and the embodiment of competition.
There are those in life who are naturally gifted. They have an ability that works at a higher level than the rest of us. My guess is that the game of basketball has not come naturally to Josh Harrellson. He worked and worked and continues to work. Where others see their future in the NBA in the court's reflection; Josh Harrellson see his blood, sweat, and tears. It is one thing to come out to the job knowing you are bigger, faster, or stronger than your opponent. It is something much different knowing you do not possess God Given ability...and that you have to make up for it with hard work and determination.
We love amateur athletics because of the spirit the players bring to the game. It is not a job, it is still a labor of love. When Josh Harrellson dives into the stands he does so not to earn points on the NBA scouting report but to earn an opportunity to play another game.
What a concept....to appreciate the opportunity and to work hard every day to keep it!
Don't Forget to Remember!