A year ago, we had the Wroten Workout Plan, in honor of Husky Basketball player Tony Wroten. It was a fairly simple plan. For every turnover committed by the freshman point guard, participants would perform 25 push-ups as penance for the miscue. Likewise, 25 push-ups would also be performed each time Wroten made a free throw, though those push-ups would certainly be more of the celebratory variety. So if at game’s end Wroten had knocked down five free throws and committed five turnovers, all of us loyal Wroten Workout Planners would owe 250 push-ups for the young man’s effort. It was a great way to stay in shape while committing the sins of most sports fans watching a game — those being the snacking and beer drinking that come along with couch-sitting.
I didn’t get to go to the gym on Tuesday. The Huskies were taking on 11th-ranked Marquette in Madison Square Garden. I needed to watch. Husky Basketball takes priority over any workout I could possibly accomplish. But I couldn’t let the day go to waste. I had a bagel sandwich for breakfast, a sizable burrito for lunch, and around about snack time I killed some Chex Mix. That’s a lot of carbs for one day. And I am not one to let those carbs go to waste. So I took the logical step of creating my own workout plan. Or as I’m currently calling it, the Wroten Workout Plan, in honor of Tony Wroten, Jr.
The Duke men’s basketball team won this year’s NCAA Championship thanks in large part to 7’1″ senior center Brian Zoubek.
Plagued by foot injuries throughout his college career, the 2009-2010 season greeted the 22-year-old New Jersey native with tepid expectations. A defensive-minded reserve entering the season, Zoubek won a starting role by February because of his effort and work ethic on both ends of the court. Zoubek remained a solid contributor for the Blue Devils during their regular-season stretch run, but reached another level of performance once the NCAA Tournament hit. In the Big Dance, it seems, size truly matters.
Perhaps one of the most self-aware players in all of college basketball, Zoubek was renowned for his ability to grab an offensive rebound and immediately turn and face the three-point arc, looking for a more offensive-minded teammate to pass the ball to. Many big men, talented or not, would prefer to grab a board and look to create their own scoring opportunity. Not Zoubek. He did whatever it took to secure a second chance for his teammates. Any points he provided were a bonus for a Blue Devil ballclub that wasn’t relying on their center to score.
I’ve been told that Aziz N’Diaye once saved a group of kittens from drowning in the free time he had between volunteering at the local soup kitchen and working on a cure for cancer. That might just be hearsay, but I doubt it.
The fact that Aziz N’Diaye is Senegalese royalty who came to America with his friend played by Arsenio Hall is only part of the story that comprises the entirety of the legend that is this 7-foot basketball-playing demigod.
Today, N’Diaye will sign a letter of intent to join the Washington Huskies in the fall of 2010 as the newest member of coach Lorenzo Romar’s program. He will then sign a treaty that guarantees peace in Jerusalem for all eternity.
Aziz N’Diaye once played basketball with former Sonics draft pick Mouhamed Sene. Before Sene was carted off on a stretcher, he had been dunked on 37 times by N’Diaye and kicked in the nuts thrice. Being the gentleman that he is, N’Diaye helped Sene off the ground after all 37 dunks. He never insulted Sene’s mother or talked any trash because that’s not his style. He finished every play with a respectful bow. Sene only cried four times.
N’Diaye used to be a vigilante bounty hunter on weekends. He’s the guy who captured Osama bin Laden and subsequently destroyed the al-Qaeda leader by feeding him to the Sarlacc from Return of the Jedi. You never heard about bin Laden’s destruction because N’Diaye is sworn to secrecy as a member of the CIA. You never heard about the Sarlacc because N’Diaye is the only known human to have both found and tamed the beast. He told his boss that he had simply manhandled bin Laden to death. In truth, the Sarlacc was craving Arabian food.