Isaiah Briscoe is an extremely accomplished point guard. He's at the top of his position in the 2015 rankings, he's a McDonalds All American, and this summer, he will represent Team USA in Greece for the FIBA U19 Championships.
The Kentucky Wildcats are definitely getting a wizard on the court, but not many in the Big Blue Nation knew how talented of a young man Briscoe is off of the court. Briscoe penned an article for The Player's Tribune and has the distinction of being the first high school/soon-to-be collegiate athlete to write for the publication.
I have to admit that I was blown away at the insight and introspective nature of the young man. In an era where Division I college basketball players are criticized for not taking school seriously and using it as nothing more than a means to the NBA, Briscoe has shown early on that he does not fit that mold.
The title of the article is Gone in 15 Seconds. In it, Isaiah talks about being part of a generation of athlete that lives for the 15 second video clip that goes on to Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube. He pleads guilty of this kind of thinking.
I guess you can say I’m from the Instagram Generation. Today it seems like much of what is considered important, or what creates a buzz, comes down to 15-second video clips or 140 characters. When anything happens — a dunk, a concert or even a selfie — you better believe someone’s posting it online. I can’t lie, I’m the same way. It’s how we roll: always in the moment but at the same time thinking about the moment.
His self-realization and honesty is refreshing. He understands, as do many athletes that are his age, how to market himself and get his skills noticed: by utilizing social media. Heck, the very article that you are reading right now is driven by the world of social media as it encourages discussion, discourse, arguments, and hopefully makes it rounds via the Internet so that more people can share.
But he also understands that basketball isn't played in 15 second increments and that the "Wow!" dunk or play won't win a game.
But one great thing about basketball, at least for me, is that it helps provide perspective. Some things are just bigger than a quick video clip. As I celebrate graduating high school this spring and look forward to playing basketball at Kentucky next year, it’s a lesson I’m still learning.
Imagine that, a teenager with perspective that looks at the bigger picture. The thing is that many of these athletes are introspective and they do have perspective, its just that much people aren't willing to listen.
How many points did you score? How many rebounds did you get? What could you have done more to win the game? These are the things that most people care about when it comes to college players. But we are in an era of Kentucky basketball where we are viewing our basketball players as more than just stats and tabs in the Win/Loss column.
We were able to fully appreciate the depth and uniqueness of a player like Willie Cauley-Stein during his three seasons at Kentucky. Marcus Lee has endeared himself to fans all over the state for his random acts of kindness. Brandon Knight was so academically gifted that he could have gone to any school in the country based on his grades alone.
There are many more stories like this if we just pay attention. I am thankful that The Players Tribune gave Briscoe a voice and a platform to not only comment on himself, but on his generation.
Isaiah Briscoe is exactly the type of player that John Calipari wants and the type of player that college basketball needs to promote.