Just over a month away is the start of college basketball, finally, right?! Until that d..."/> Just over a month away is the start of college basketball, finally, right?! Until that d..."/> Just over a month away is the start of college basketball, finally, right?! Until that d..."/>

ESPN names Skal Labissiere one the most interesting people in College Basketball; plus more


Just over a month away is the start of college basketball, finally, right?! Until that day comes we get to read all of the preseason talk. Well, ESPN has a story about Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere and how he is one of the most interesting people in college basketball this season.

They go on to say how Skal is interesting by default, because of his extraordinary skill set for basketball and being a prodigy. Then, they go on to say that’s not really what makes him interesting. Here is a snippet of a post by Eamonn Brennan over at ESPN.:

"Labissiere was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1996. By sixth grade, he was already good enough, tall enough and driven enough to be considering a move to the United States on the path to one day reaching the NBA. On Jan. 12, 2010, when he was 13, Labissiere returned home from basketball practice. He went to the bathroom. Then, as ESPNHS’s Matt Remsberg wrote in 2012, “the ground began to shake.”[Labissiere] and his younger brother both ran to their mom, Ema, in the next room, where they huddled together as a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rumbled. As fate would have it, they were in the only room of their home that didn’t completely cave in, but the wall they were leaning against began collapsing on top of them. A desk was the only thing preventing it from coming all the way down. […]As thunderous noise gave way to eerie silence, Skal heard his father, Leslie, in hysterics. His dad had been outside at the time of the earthquake and could only watch as the home crumbled with his wife and children inside. Soon, though, Leslie heard his family crying for help, so he hurried off to get assistance.Haiti was already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere in 2010, plagued by corruption, coups, and economic isolation since its days as a ruthlessly managed French colony. The earthquake is estimated to have killed between 100,000 to 160,000 people; it destroyed much of Port-au-Prince, including the Presidential Palace and the National Assembly Building. Morgues were overwhelmed. Mass graves were dug.The Labissieres were rescued after three hours. Skal’s legs were pinned down by what was left of the wall, and he would struggle to walk for weeks afterward. They were, relatively speaking, lucky. Labissiere recovered. Eight months later, he was in Cordova, Tennessee, a newly emigrated and newly enrolled eighth-grade student.Which brings us to the next, and probably best-known, chapter of Labissiere’s story, the highlights of which touch almost every morally questionable facet of modern American grassroots basketball. Labissiere’s move to the United States was facilitated by Reach Your Dream, an organization whose prescription-drug-template website describes its “vision” as “promoting spiritual awareness, self confidence, and innovative thinking for future generations in various communities throughout the world.”"

It is certainly an awe-inspiring story wether you have heard his background story or not.
– Our next story comes from Bleacher Report. They go over the Wildcats basketball season on what will make or break the year. They have some interesting points. Here is one of them:

"This may seem like a simple concept for Kentucky to master, but it is a bit unproven on the glass entering the 2015-16 season.The Wildcats are hoping Skal Labissiere will adjust to the collegiate level just fine, but the real questions in the rebounding department come behind the towering freshman on the depth chart.Alex Poythress is a known commodity when he’s healthy, but it may take him a little while to get readjusted to the full pace of play, which is something that might cost the Wildcats against Duke.Marcus Lee will contribute a bit off the bench, but he will face a challenge of his own as he grows into a more prominent role under the basket.The Wildcats may not have the rebounding prowess of the giants from last season, but the trio of Labissiere, Poythress and Lee could become a vaunted combination as the season progresses.Calipari will also look to his guards to play more of a role in the paint."

Check out more of their points here.