Thursday, October 1, 2020

NBA journeyman Garrett Temple constantly takes challenging journeys.

August 5, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Education, Money, News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( There are not many sports fans who know who Garrett Temple is. The current Brooklyn Nets swingman is not a household name on his own team, let alone the National Basketball Association. With the NBA restarting its season last month, he hopes that his Nets team can make a run in the NBA playoffs with a vastly different team than they had for the majority of the 2019-20 NBA regular season. Other than Kevin Durant, the most recognizable player on the Nets is Kyrie Irving, who as known for his unique perspectives as he is his “Uncle Drew” alter ego. Irving was notably outspoken about the NBA restarting due to the potential for the popular sport to draw people away from protests and social justice for Black people that has been a major part of the past few months in America. Irving’s teammate, Garrett Temple, is also a vice-president of the NBPA, the players union and also has a different “big picture” look at society.

Unlike former number one overall NBA Draft pick Kyrie Irving, Garrett Temple entered the NBA with little to no fanfare after going undrafted in the 2009 NBA draft. It was a tough early road in the world’s best basketball league for Temple, as he played for three different teams his first year in the league. Incredibly, he played on five teams his first two years and eventually had to play overseas professionally in Italy from 2011-12 before the Washington Wizards gave him another chance in the NBA during the 2012-13 season. It says something about Garrett Temple’s ability to persevere that he has stayed in the NBA since then and amassed over $27 million in salary in the NBA.

Garrett Temple, NBA, nba,

It would be a major mistake to characterize Garrett Temple as simply an “athlete” though. Prior to joining the restart of the season, he was studying for the LSAT in preparation for law school during the COVID-19 quarantine. Regarding his decision, he said, “I’m a person that has thought about going to law school when I finish playing. What’s not a better time than now to be able to put in three to four hours a day of studying for a test that allows me to get into law school. That’s what I’m doing right now.” He took his preparation seriously enough to reach out to lawyers, including famed civil rights lawyer and activist Bryan Stevenson. It should not shock sports fans if Temple increases the number of the historically underrepresented Black population in a law school across the country.

While in the NBA campus in Orlando, Garrett Temple is doing like many other NBA players to highlight injustices that he feels are important. He decided to have the phrase, ‘Education Reform’, on the back of his jersey and said, “There are so many different causes to tackle, unfortunately in our community. We in the Black community have been marginalized so much, there’s so many different things that need to change in order to allow us to get better chances. I think education is something that’s very much needed. It’s fallen by the wayside in most cases.

The public school system isn’t nearly where it needs to be in a country as powerful as ours.” Temple also believes the NBA’s restart of the season can be a vehicle for enhancing players’ social justice goals. It is hard to measure what type of impact will be made by players like Garrett Temple but he will likely be known for more than basketball when his athletic career is over.

Staff Writer; Mark Hines

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