At a time when so many of our leaders fail us, men like Zach Edey bring a smile to our faces.
If you’re not a college basketball fan, you might not be familiar with Edey, a national Player of the Year contender and junior at Purdue University in Indiana. The center is the top scorer on the No. 1-ranked Boilermakers, averaging 22.4 points per game, according to ESPN
And, despite the fact that Edey dropped 33 points and grabbed 18 rebounds against their intrastate rival Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday, the Boilermakers
still lost by five, 79-74.
It was a great individual performance for Edey, but No. 18 Indiana
— led by another Player of the Year candidate, Trayce Jackson-Davis — capitalized on key plays down the stretch, including a Purdue turnover with the team down just three in the final moments of the game.
The turnover wasn’t Edey’s, mind you. It was from freshman point guard Braden Smith, who leads the team
in assists with 4.4 a game thus far this season.
However, when the media asked Smith about the turnover
, Edey was more than willing to show what a true leader looks like.
After the point guard said he “just held onto it too long” during the play in question, Edey took to the mic — and proceeded to go viral.
“Just to clarify — that was one play,” Edey said.
“Obviously, in a big moment. But every play is big in a game like this,” he continued.
“I had too many turnovers in the first half. I didn’t come out with the energy I needed. Obviously, it’s a big play, and people might look at that, but you could point out three or four plays by everyone that could have made up that one possession.
“So it’s not just on him. It’s on the entire team,” Edey concluded.
More than anything anyone did during the game itself, Edey’s response will be remembered as an example of what the phrase “stepping up” really means. Twitter certainly seemed to love it:
While the loss dropped Purdue to 22-2, they remained in their No. 1 position in the new Associated Press college basketball rankings — ahead of the No. 2 University of Houston Cougars, who have an identical record. According to the NCAA
, only two other teams — the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and University of Arizona Wildcats
— received No. 1 votes.
And, if you happen to be a betting man, the Boilermakers are currently second in the odds to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, according to Gaming Today
, right behind the Houston Cougars.
But, if you want to put your money in a safer gambling investment, look no further than Edey himself — who is far and away the favorite
to win the national Player of the Year award.
That’s doubtless because of the incredible numbers he’s put up on the court. However, it helps when someone who puts up eye popping stats on the hardwood
is such a leader off of it. In our “mistakes-are-made” age of blamelessness, here’s someone willing to step up and take the blame when no one was assigning it for him. Our hats are off to you, sir.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal
College Basketball Star Goes Viral for Showing What a True Leader Looks Like in Post-Game Press Conference
C. Douglas Golden, Western Journal
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