The NCAA basketball tournament is set to begin in a few hours and hoops fans across the nation are eagerly waiting for the excitement to begin. Many fans eyes will be focused directly on college basketballs most recognized player, Tyler Hansbrough. Hansbrough’s college career has been littered with great individual success, but ultimately team failure in the tournament. He has turned down overtures from the NBA after each of his seasons and as a result pro scouts see little of the all important upside that is used to grade draft stock. Many are already declaring his entire career anything from a failure to incomplete if he does not lead his team to a national championship.
But is that analysis in any way fair? After all when he announced he was coming back this year, he emphasized how he wanted to have fun. He poked fun at the pictures taken of him jumping off a frat house roof.
“His career is bigger than that,” said Dave Odom, the former coach at Wake Forest and South Carolina. “There’s always one more thing he can accomplish … but if [his career ended] today he’s one of the greats in all ACC history. He plays every possession as if it was his last and conducted himself as the ultimate student-athlete.”
It should also be remembered while a select few athletes like Hansbrough are remembered for staying in school, most of the athletes in college will stay four years. Their legacies will be defined by a degree and success later in life not by a national hampionship. It would be a shame if Hansbrough was judged on another scale.