As Alex Legion’s World Turns
I do believe this is my first post at Intentional Foul discussing the University of Kentucky basketball team and as the editor of a recently-launched sports blog, you could say I’ve shown some restraint. However, some stories are just too good to pass up.
As I discussed in my weekly Epic Carnival post, freshman shooting guard Alex Legion informed Coach Billy Gillispie about his intention to transfer out of UK for undisclosed reasons. In the middle of this mess was Legion’s mom, Annette and the speculation was she had her hands all over Alex’s decision to transfer. To celebrate this theory, a number of bloggers, UK-related or otherwise, poked fun at Legion’s mother, something I was guilty of myself in my guest post. However, I should point out that Annette Legion has provided some of this fodder herself by suggesting she was a prophet and had visions of stardom for her son.
But after UK lost to North Carolina last Saturday in a game that saw Legion play a season-low six minutes, apparently, Annette Legion was none-to-happy about the way her son was utilized in Gillispie’s scheme. To his credit, when asked about Legion’s lack of minutes, Coach Gillispie responded by saying,”Whoever gets it, earns it. That’s all,” which may shed some light on what caused the upheaval (a fact Legion’s mom denies). Besides playing time, the rumors about Legion’s transfer focused on just how tough Gillispie is on his players during practice.
Now, after the official announcement has been made, it appears as if Alex Legion is having second thoughts. According to Jerry Tipton, the UK basketball beat writer, the UK coaching staff has been trying to change his mind and it seems to be having an effect:
“The last 24 hours they’ve been working on my son, the player’s mother,” Annette Legion, said Tuesday night.
She likened her son’s second thoughts to someone not realizing what they have till it’s gone.
“It’s like a divorce,” Mrs. Legion said. “You don’t know how valuable that person is till you’re divorced. When you’re married, you couldn’t see it.”
However, the Detroit Free Press offers a slightly different take, indicating Legion is still trying to make up his mind about his basketball future:
But Legion’s high school coach Steve Smith of Oak Hill Academy (Va.) told the Kentucky Kernel student newspaper on Tuesday that Legion will probably spend the winter break looking at his possible transfer options and that Michigan was a possible destination.
“I’d imagine he’d finish the semester and look at some places over the break so that he can play next year,” Smith said, after talking to his former player Monday night.
On its Web site last night, the Lexington Herald-Leader quoted the player’s mother, Annette, as saying she would support her son if he decided to stay at UK.
As a self-professed Kentucky fan, if Legion does return, I can only hope the above bold section is true. If a hands-on parent is displeased with the way their child is being handled, it can create a great deal of turmoil for any team, especially one that’s trying to transition and adjust to the style of a new coach. I also hope he returns because he wants to play for Gillispie and UK, not because he doesn’t like the idea of sitting out because he transfered to another school.
However, if Legion does have a change of heart, I will welcome him with open arms. UK needs players–BADLY–and an I-want-to-be-here Alex Legion goes a long way to shoring up some of the roster issues Gillispie faces, primarily due to players getting injured.