As a fan of the Washington Huskies, I want to be the first to congratulate Terrence Jones and the Kentucky Wildcats on their impending 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Winning a title in any sport is no small achievement, but when you’re a team of destiny, it’s simply not in the cards to fail.
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, where’s the punch line? Where’s the anger? Where’s the fire? You should be upset over Jones’ de-commitment to UW. You should be chastising Kentucky head coach John Calipari for his shady recruitment of the 18-year-old Portland native.
Please. Sour grapes aren’t my fruit of choice. In fact, I prefer pineapple, but that’s neither here nor there.
No, it’s all about being the bigger man, and here at Washington, we pride ourselves on bigger men. Just ask the ladies.
And while Kentucky fans may be content to start a verbal jihad with their newfound rival to the west, we won’t go there, because that’s not us.
People want to know a guy like Jones because he’s about to be famous. He’s 18 years old, and yet the world wants a piece of his ass because he wears a jersey and can dunk a basketball. They want to say they know a guy like that. That they’re friends with him, even in a virtual sense. That he acknowledged them once.
It’s always been that way with athletes. It’s called “jersey chasing,” and so many people are guilty of it.
There used to be a saying that you don’t meet your heroes, because they’ll only let you down. It’s why I’ve never said a word to Ken Griffey Jr., to be honest. I’ve seen him in person, been mere feet from him, but haven’t spoken to him. I don’t want to be disappointed. And the bar I’ve set for that guy is so high that only Superman could scale it. Who knows if Griffey can fly like that.
These days, that saying has gone out the window. Thanks to social networking sites, fans can be closer to their heroes than ever before. So close, in fact, that heroes barely exist anymore. Celebrities are just like us, stripped down to a user name and 140-to-420 characters of typespace.
Multiple sources have confirmed that Jefferson High School (Portland, Ore.) basketball recruit Terrence Jones is not yet a member of the Washington Huskies.
Along with former high school teammate Terrence Ross, Jones announced in a press conference on Friday afternoon that he would be committing to play college basketball at the University of Washington. Shortly thereafter, the story took a turn for the worse for Dawg fans.
Reports indicate that minutes after the press conference was complete, Jones received a phone call from University of Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari. Jones then spoke with Calipari for approximately fifteen minutes with what Percy Allen of The Seattle Times described as a “pained” look about him.
Following the phone conversation with Calipari, Jones huddled in the gym with his close friends and family to further discuss his decision. The Letter of Intent he was supposed to send to Washington and coach Lorenzo Romar remained untouched nearby.
Interestingly enough, Jones admitted to reporters earlier in the afternoon that he was unsure of his college choice up until the moment he made his decision by picking a Washington hat off a table in the midst of the press conference. That uncertainty apparently carried over into the evening.
If you’re looking for something to do this MLK Day, why not head over to the University of Washington campus and check out the King Holiday Hoopfest at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
If you’re a Husky fan, one game that should pique your interest is a matchup on the boys side between top-ranked Federal Way (No. 1 in the state in Class 4A) and Jefferson High School of Portland, Ore.
Jefferson is the defending Class 5A state champion in Oregon, but more importantly features forward Terrence Jones, a senior who is being heavily pursued by the Dawgs (among many others).
An athletic big bodied talent (6’8″, 220 lbs), Jones is one of the top recruits in the nation (ranked No. 6 at his position by Scout.com, No. 15 in his class by ESPN) and could probably use a little convincing by the Washington faithful to don the purple-and-gold next season. Hence the title of this post. Which is mostly a joke. But you know…couldn’t hurt, right?