Shaka Smart is in the midst of history. He has led his midmajor VCU Rams to the Final Four, beating legendary teams like Georgetown, Purdue and Kansas in the process. Shaka's brother, J.M. Tyree, writes about his excitement for his brother's success on the court. The two have different dads, different last names and different ethnic backgrounds, yet have the same thirst for success on and off of the court. Read an excerpt from Tyree's ruminations on life with his brother. Indeed, he is his brother's keeper.
EXCERPTS from Shaka Smart: My Brother's Keeper, from our partner site Slate.com.
"Honey, Shaka's trending again!"
I realize my brother has moved into a new phase of sports celebrity when his name — Shaka Smart — becomes a trending topic on Twitter, right alongside Rebecca Black. His name is being inserted into spam tweets from China ("ShakaSmart International IQ Test … Play Free Online"), and women are posting comments about … well, you know. A Tennessee Volunteers fan, whose team is in the market for a hot young coach, jokingly speculates on the fact that Shaka wore an "orange tie" against Purdue. (Actually, the tie was golden.) A confused Brazilian asks, in Twitter Portuguese, "Does anyone know what is Shaka Smart?"
With different dads, different last names and different ethnic backgrounds, most people wouldn't assume we're related. Certainly not when it comes to sports. My younger brother had many great sports mentors. I am not one of them. No, I was the kid who got beaned in the back of the head because he was watching the clouds during baseball practice. I bombed out of high school basketball as a benchwarmer on the freshman "B" team. The last time I played a serious pickup game I broke three bones in my foot. Yet when I visited VCU's basketball arena recently, I couldn't resist shooting around. Shaka, ever the motivator, told me, "You're improving!" Very funny, coach.
Read more at Slate.
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