As I was watching the game last night, I kept seeing a Virginia Tech player with the name “Blackshear” on his jersey, and all I could think about was the GOAT (that’s greatest of all time for those who aren’t quite as hip with today’s lingo) Blackshear, the one that truly made it “Wayne” (I am awfully sorry for these terrible puns by the way). Of course I am talking about the one, the only, Wayne Blackshear. And well, since its Thursday, I guess you could call this a #TBT (Once again for those who are a little bit older that means Throwback Thursday).
See, Blackshear was a can’t miss prospect coming out of high school, with multiple scouts even proclaiming that he was a better prospect out of Chicago than that year’s number one recruit, Anthony Davis. And just by looking at this short highlight film of Blackshear coming out of high school, one would be hard pressed to disagree.
Blackshear had the potential to be one of the highest scorers in Louisville’s long basketball history, but then, that unfortunate shoulder injury happened, and he hardly got much playing time at all. What many scouts deemed a potential one-and-done and a can’t miss prospect, now was being questioned if he was ever going to be an even half-way decent basketball player.
But then, Blackshear was one of the players that led Louisville to its first national championship in over 25 years, and the respect slowly started to come back. His junior year was rather uneventful, often times disappearing in key games. It was in his senior season that he truly shined. Never once did this writer see Blackshear give up or not try at least 150%. Sure, he only averaged around 10 ppg, but his scoring wasn’t what the team needed, what they needed was a true leader and someone who gave every inch of himself when he was out on that court, and Blackshear was that guy!
When his final game was over, Blackshear has his head down, and afterwards apologized to all of the UofL fans that he couldn’t get the team to yet another Final Four. The truth is, there was no need for him to apologize to the fans, because he gave every last molecule of his being on the court that game, the only ones who should have been apologizing were the fans who were criticizing him, which I admit I too was very harsh on Blackshear during several parts of his college career. Then, there are people who are saying Damion Lee is what Blackshear would of been if he lived up to his potential, but I say there will never be another player like Blackshear. A leader, the heart of the team, a Louisville legend!
Oh and just if you haven’t heard, this is still a block. Go Cards and #BeatVirginia!