GUTSY, GRINDING, GRITTY, GOLDEN…GRAHAM
Before this gets too far behind us I just have to write this.
Did he just do that!? Yes he just did that! Again!
We didn’t know how or where or when but we knew it would come at sometime during this his senior season. Saving the best for last, somehow wow’ing us again, which honestly, do we all really think this will be it? As Mo says!
To date there have been many ‘moments’ and loud, short whistle blows coming from the Freight Train. From the 4 point overtime bucket as St. Joes did it’s best “Blackhawk Down” impression in our first A10 battle, to the takeover game last year battling way back in a hostile high school gym against LaSalle, to his notorious swashbuckling in Charlottesville that was more than enough to glaze the bronze. But this one was different. This was a long whistle blow, like something is still on the tracks, get out of the way whistle blow.
Treveon (Pretty sure his middle name starts with an F) Graham added to his VCU storied legend the other night, in a new unexpected unfortunate way. As this time it was not only the external forces; opponent, score, environment, that had to be overcome, but an advisory much harder to face and persevere through. One of physical nature, one on a very important part of the train none-the-less, on of the actual wheel of the engine car.
Enough of the analogy! After grinding out 10 points in the first half of the battle on the road against an extra amped up team and crowd, Tre found himself early in the first half, after knocking down some clutch shots and willing the team back into the game, chasing down a loose ball. Little did he know that this basketball game turned into a hockey match as he got hip checked falling out of bounds as the checker, Buchanan, rolled up his Grahams ankle. As he yelled and writhed in pain Briante called for trainers and others seemed to fear the worst, as Treveon lay on the court for an extended amount of time, who knew what was going to happen!?
What happened next was nothing short of pure Rocky Balboa inspired, mind over matter, will to shake off a bad injury because the team needs you, kind of story you tell your kids, craziness. He hobbled around the bench for a bit, grabbed a stretching band and began to put his squeaky, mangled wheel back on the track. Not only did he surprise everyone in the arena by coming back in, he kept grinding, kept doing Tre moves, kept pressing, kept forcing, not backing down and letting the pain win. He missed his first shot a few moments after checking back but didn’t take too long to hear that whistle again. He got to the foul line, missed those, but didn’t give up. After a couple clutch plays and turnovers Graham finally hoisted up a three that was sure as the sun coming up and going down to tie the game, took some counter punches that included some tough rebounds and kept swinging as his second three on a bad wheel and put the team up for good. Victory snatched from the sure hands of defeat.
As the horn sounded and after he limped around to shake hands he was literally carried off of the court by his fellow upper class men Briante Weber. Very fitting as that gesture was mirrored on the court as Bri close the game out with 4 clutch free throws.
I mean, seriously, you thought Aaron Rodgers was doing something with his bad wheel!? Michael Jordan’s flu game thinks that was an audacious, amazing, for the ages, performance, that night Roy Hobbs hopped up to the top of the dugout steps to get a glimpse of true grit greatness. If you were there you were inspired, humbled and left scratching your head with a ‘how’d he do that’ thought bubble over your head.
And when I’m old and the kids ask about an old VCU player who wore #21 I will able to say that yes, I was there, I was blessed to witness greatness, again.
The Train keeps on rolling! CHOO-CHOO!