Shane Battier: I would argue that the true value of any degree is the alumni network that shares that same degree. The saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” is becoming more true every day. Networking matters. Maybe more than ever. For the most part, alumni networks strictly benefit the universities and athletic program budgets that inspire them. But what if universities began leveraging alumni networks for the benefit of the athletes. I’m talking about programs that match up athletes with alumni capable of providing genuine mentorship, networking opportunities and internships. That’s the kind of thing that will actually give student-athletes practical directions in careers outside of their sports.
Shane Battier: That is why I think the alumni base should be utilized more as an added benefit for student-athletes. It would be a way to recruit kids not just based on top coaches, trainers and facilities, but also because of the potential to have relationships facilitated with a rich alumni network that will set the student up for success in their post-career. Every school has an area of expertise — an industry they are proud to trumpet.
He came back stronger as a sophomore, leading the Longhorns to the 2006 Elite Eight before he was selected with the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft. On Friday, Aldridge was named to the UT Hall of Honor. Receiving an excused absence from Spurs coach Gregg Popovich from Friday’s preseason game against Miami, Aldridge was one of thirteen Longhorns honored as distinguished and decorated former UT student-athletes and staff. He was back in Austin, where he spent many hours sitting on a wooden block, remaking his shot and defining his work ethic in the process.
Kevin Love: People were stopping to listen in to Russ digging into me. Russ always attracted a crowd, even then. He was smiling ear to ear. I could tell he didn’t necessarily mean it as a compliment. Before I could say anything, Russ went on. “Damn, how big are those Jordans?” He was already testing me. I knew I was going to like this guy.
Kevin Love: At night, Russ would jump up from bed and turn the dial way up — and then five minutes later I would sneak over and turn it back down. One time I offered a compromise — “How ‘bout 71 degrees?” “Seventy-three,” Russ replied. “Final offer.” See what I mean? Dude is stubborn. Over time, I got to see another side of Russ, too. Like the first time he talked to me about a girl named Nina. She was on the women’s basketball team. He would go on and on about her. Just last summer, I got to see Russ and Nina get married. That just about sums our Bruins team up. All these years later, we’re like family.
Shaquille O’Neal was back at LSU on Saturday, cutting up in Death Valley during breaks of the Tigers’ SEC West battle with Mississippi State. The LSU legend has long been a passionate supporter and active fan of the football program, making a few appearances at Tiger Stadium every year and always delivering a great performance when given the opportunity. On Saturday, Shaq lifted an LSU cheerleader like it was nothing and started bench pressing her for the fans.