Kemba’s Book

I finally got around to reading Sports Illustrated’s cover story on UConn’s national championship.  It was written by Tim Layden, one of the best in the business, and a local guy to boot. 

I subscribe to SI because somehow their people unearth that nugget of information that makes me think, “Really?”  And this revelation about Kemba Walker produced a really big “Really?”

Walker took schoolwork with him throughout the Big East and NCAA tournaments, completing short required papers while postponing tests until after the season. He met with his campus tutor on Skype. And in his travel pack is a copy of New York Times columnist William C. Rhoden’s Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete, a book that (UConn academic counselor Felicia) Crump encouraged Walker to read as part of an independent study class on racism in sports. Before the Final Four, Crump suggested that Rhoden’s book would be the first that Walker had ever made it through cover-to-cover. After the win over Kentucky, Walker confirmed this. “That’s true,” he said. “You can write that. It is the first book I’ve ever read.”

Everyone who follows UConn admires Walker for the season he had, and for his effort to graduate in three years.

But I’m wondering how you graduate from college (in three years no less) having read one book in your life.

And I’m hoping Kemba’s quote reflects pride in that he actually finally read a book from cover to cover.  And that he plans to read another one.

Because if he’s proud to have never read a book…


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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14 Responses to Kemba’s Book

  1. JA Scott says:

    Wow – when I saw the title of this post, I thought, “He’s got a book deal – already?” Then I read your post. Wish I’d been correct….

  2. Gerry says:

    Yeah, me too. I’m hoping someone can explain how this can happen.

    And a note to Charles, who left a comment I couldn’t approve. I understood your reply, but I just can’t go there. I hope you understand. Feel free to drop in again.

  3. Jim says:

    I’m curious to know what his major is.

  4. Charles says:

    Not to worry. I do understand. But I still hear those words.

  5. Linda says:

    I’m pretty sure that tutors go along on road trips so the athletes can keep up with their classes so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Kemba did some homework. (although I’m not sure it’s done during championship games) I hope that Kemba means it’s the first book he’s read that wasn’t required reading. I can’t imagine he went through school never having to read a whole book! I didn’t think there was a school anywhere that didn’t have some sort of required reading. I believe his major is sociology, which is pretty tough to do in 3 years. I just find the statement kind of hard to believe.

  6. I served on the board of directors of a non-profit educational business a couple of years ago. Another board member was the tutor for an Atlantic 10 basketball team. Her job was to make sure the players were getting an education. Making sure they didn’t think string theory has anything to do with the nets that hang from the hoops in the gym. Stuff ( pardon the pun ) like that. This woman, this tutor, stopped coming to board meetings. She just up and quit, telling nobody why. Around the same time, the star of the team, a guy she told me she liked to work with, in her job as the tutor, quit the team in mid season.

    I didn’t know the basketball player, but from post game interviews, he gave the impression he wasn’t that bright. If he’d read one book in his life, I’d be surprised.

    Maybe his tutor decided he needed more work, and decided to go one on one with with the kid. I know this is a little off topic. But your post got me thinking. Always a dangerous practice.

  7. Charles says:

    what I said before…

  8. Mary says:

    First let me put my tinted glasses on, I ‘m sure he meant finish a book cover to cover. Kemba was reading it for an independent reading course, so I’ll assume, (ooops ) he has read others, but maybe they didn’t hold his interest as long. Good luck to Kemba.

  9. Li'l Em-Cyni-Kel says:

    Why should he read a book? He’ll make more money next year than the guy who wrote the book will make in his life.

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