Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Andre Drummond could be the No. 1 or No. 2 pick in next June’s NBA Draft.
And yet as of right now, he’s not even a scholarship player on his own team.
That’s because the 6-foot-10 Drummond generously agreed to become a walk-on so that teammate Michael Bradley could go on scholarship.
Bradley, as you may recall, gave up his scholarship and went on financial aid this past August so Drummond could join the team. UConn only has 10 scholarships to give because of NCAA penalites.
“I’m thankful for what Mike was trying to do for me,” Drummond told Gavin Keefe of The Day.
“I told Mike, `Don’t do that, man. I’ll pay my way and take a scholarship next year. You don’t have to give up a scholarship for me.’ ”
Bradley spent part of his childhood in the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home, so for him to give up his scholarship was not exactly easy.
“I don’t want anybody to pity me,” Bradley told the Associated Press during the Husky Run on Oct. 12. “But, I’ll say I made a lot of sacrifices growing up that were kind of forced on me. It was hard, but it wasn’t too bad.”
Bradley recently began practicing with the team after having to sit out with a broken ankle.
Drummond, the reigning Big East Rookie of the Week after putting up 24 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in Sunday’s win over Holy Cross, said he gave up his scholarship sometime this fall so that Bradley could go back on ship.
“It was my decision,” Drummond told The Day. “That’s not fair to him. He worked hard to get that scholarship. I’m not going to take something from somebody that’s not mine. It was my decision to come late.”
So remember when David Stern announces Drummond’s name in June, he will be calling the name of arguably the greatest walk-on in recent college basketball history.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.