Photo courtesy of abcnews.go.com
The following article was written by Jason King of BleacherReport.com. It is a great read. He interviewed former Card Chane Behanan and Behanan goes into detail about some of his problems at UofL. He talks about going to Houston and what John Lucas has done for him. I will post the first half of it and then provide the link to read the rest on the actual site.
HOUSTON—As he smoked marijuana in the streets of Miami, just a few blocks from the team hotel, Chane Behanan said he felt much like he did the night he helped Louisville win the 2013 NCAA title.
“Like no one could touch me,” Behanan said.
Not the Miami police, who could’ve arrested Behanan had they seen him taking tokes from a joint during that nighttime stroll in late December. Not coach Rick Pitino, who had suspended the 6’6” junior for a month in the fall because of his weed habit. And certainly not the University of Louisville and its silly random drug tests.
Behanan knew one was imminent after the team returned from its road trip to Miami, where it defeated Florida International. But he was hardly concerned.
“Even when I went in to give the (urine) sample, I didn’t worry,”Behanan said. “I thought I’d beat it. But then Coach P called me into his office before practice.”
Behanan pauses and shrugs his shoulders.
“And that was it,” he said.
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
Pitino informed Behanan on Dec. 30 that his latest positive drug test would be his last with the Louisville Cardinals. Athletic director Tom Jurich had instructed Pitino to dismiss the NBA prospect from the team. Pitino had been one ofBehanan’s biggest supporters during tough times, but the coach told Behanan he was out of chances. He couldn’t fight for him anymore.
“I couldn’t be mad at anyone but myself,” Behanan told Bleacher Report last week. “They had given me opportunity after opportunity.
“I hate that it happened, all of the distractions and the pain that I caused. I hate that it had to come to that for me to realize how big of a problem it had become.”
Six weeks later and nearly 1,000 miles from Louisville, Ky., Behanan is wrapping up a scrimmage at a high school gym in Houston.
Among his teammates this day are Stevie Clark, who was booted from Oklahoma State’s squad less than a week earlier following his arrest for urinating out of a car window; and J-Mychal Reese, the former Texas A&M guard who was dismissed in January for “repeated violations of team rules.”
It’s college basketball’s Island of Misfit Toys, one-time stars trying to reshape their lives under the tutelage of ex-NBA player and head coach John Lucas. A former drug addict who has been sober for more than 25 years, Lucas runs a program that provides counseling for athletes and coaches battling substance abuse, anger issues and various other addictions.
When they’re not in therapy sessions, the players are in the gym, scrimmaging and going through drills while Lucas barks from the sidelines. One minute he’s cursing out Behanan and threatening him with his “whip” (a plastic jump rope), the next he’s giving him a good-natured ribbing.
“You didn’t do anything in that Final Four last year,” Lucas screams across the gym. “Your teammates wouldn’t even throw you the ball. They kept giving it to that white boy (Luke Hancock).”
Behanan smirks. He was named to the All-Final Four team after averaging 12.5 points and 10.5 rebounds during his two games on college basketball’s biggest stage, but he knows that’s irrelevant here.
There is no hero worship in Lucas’ gym, only tough love and brutal candor from a man who has been a godsend for Behanan.
Following his dismissal from Louisville’s team, Behanan thought about entering the NBA’s D-League before being steered toward Lucas in early January.
Realizing he was only 40 hours shy of earning his college degree, Lucas convinced Behanan to hold off on turning pro so he could spend one more year in college, honing his game at a different school while working toward his diploma.
“Everyone knows he’s going to be a pro,” Lucas said. “But the question became, ‘What’s this young man going to be doing at 35?’ He needs something besides basketball.”
Last month, after considering a handful of other schools, Behanansigned with Colorado State. The choice seemed fitting considering the Rams are coached by Larry Eustachy, who spent time at Lucas’ facility after issues with alcohol cost him his job at Iowa State in May of 2003. After receiving treatment, Eustachy resurrected his career a year later at Southern Miss and is now in his second season in Fort Collins.
“I have the utmost respect for Coach Eustachy and what he’s been through,” Behanan said. “He’s the perfect coach for me. We can relate to one another.”
Behanan is taking online courses through the university this spring so he can remain in Houston to work with Lucas. He’ll arrive on Colorado State’s campus this summer and will suit up for the Rams once the fall semester ends in December. Behanan has just one semester of eligibility remaining.
“Hopefully I can go there and share some of the wealth,” Behanansaid. “They’ve already got some nice pieces. Now I can bring some of the things I learned at Louisville and we can expand from there.”
Still, as excited as he is about his future, Behanan knows he can’t fully move on until he addresses his past.