We used to be in there, now we’re out here
Roy is the Huskies’ basketball equivalent to Steve Emtman – an All-American who took his team to new heights, was drafted high and then had his pro career cut short by injuries.
Just as Emtman was the lead Dawg for Don James’ national title team in 1991, Roy was the figurehead for the resurgence of the basketball program under Lorenzo Romar. Roy was part of the Nate Robinson-led bunch that reached the Sweet 16 in 2005, and then Roy led the Huskies back in 2006 (when they got jobbed by the refs against Connecticut).
After stellar college careers, both Emtman and Roy were high draft picks — Emtman was chosen No. 1 overall by the Colts in 1992, and Roy was selected sixth overall by the Trail Blazers in 2006.
Neither lasted more than six seasons in the pros, and it’s too bad.
Knee injuries and a disk problem in his neck short-circuited Emtman’s career. He lasted just three injury-filled seasons with the Colts, who finally had to cut their losses, and then played three more undistinguished seasons for Miami and Washington.
Roy had more success in the NBA, following up his senior season as Pac-10 player of the year by becoming the NBA rookie of the year. He went to three All-Star games in his five seasons. But his knees gave out.
It’s always unfortunate to see stars like Emtman and Roy burn out early. It robs the sports, for the players and the fans.
Hockey is seeing it now with Sidney Crosby, who should be the NHL’s poster boy but instead is the chief example of the danger posed by concussions. It happened to the NFL when Bo Jackson’s career ended far too soon. The Seahawks have experienced it a couple of times: when superstar safety Kenny Easley was forced to retire due to kidney damage and when standout defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs had to quit because of a bad knee.
While most of us in Seattle are no longer interested in the NBA, even Cougars like me appreciated Roy’s ability and were mildly rooting for his Husky teams in the tournament.
Romar was asked in a conference call where his program would be if Roy had never played for him.
“I don’t know if I’d still have a job,” he told reporters, laughing. “I don’t think we would have gotten to where we are. … Brandon gave us a lot of credibility. Brandon and Nate Robinson were two guys we could go all over the country with and everybody knew who they were. There’s only two jerseys hung up there in our arena and (Roy’s) is one of them.”
And now, like his jersey, Roy is retired. Too bad.
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