Isaiah Hartenstein

The Fraport Skyliners Players 2018 NBA Summer League Watch Volume 6

Basketball has been the main topic in the last week in the Thomas & Mack center at the 2018 NBA Summer League while relaxing and regenerating one´s body on an off day and at night are what the Fraport Skyliners players and other professional players have been focusing on, but another topic of interest not only there, but in the basketball world has been the two tragic deaths of ex UCLA players Tyler Honeycutt and Billy Knight only within a few days of each other. Just how often 2018 NBA draft picks Aaron Holiday and Thomas Welsch of UCLA had to answer questions and give their feelings on the delicate topic is unknown, but it surely wasn´t a little. I was shocked and yelped No when I heard about the Tyler Honeycutt death on Saturday night and even if I didn´t personally know him had my own personal 40 minute connection with him that I will never forget dealing with him this past January when I was able to interview him before an Euroleague game in Bamberg. My memory of him were still quite present simply because it wasn´t so long ago and just his open friendliness and warm personality made my one on one chat with him very memorable. His death makes no sense, because his basketball future was bright as he had an offer from a top Euroleague team and from an NBA team to be the back up to one of the best power forwards in the league.  I was almost shocked again when I learned about the Billy Knight death, because I thought at first that I had another connection to him even if it was a very distant one and only something through stories, but was relieved when I learned that it was a different Billy Knight. Back in the 80´s, the NBA enjoyed the play of Billy Knight who played at Pittsburgh and was born in 1952 and became a legend as an Indiana Pacer finishing his career as the third leading scorer. The minimal connection I had to him was through my third grade music teacher Mr Johnson who roomed with him and told us kids bet  entertaining stories between learning how to play the recorder in the music room about the exceptional player who once averaged 28ppg in the now defunct ABA league. The Billy Knight who posted a chilling you tube video shortly before committing suicide was born in 1979 and played at UCLA and enjoyed a 14 year professional career overseas and played mostly in France and Japan. Both Honeycutt and Knight had very severe issues with themselves in their lives and just didn´t come to terms how to cope with them. These two deaths are very tragic and makes one wonder again and again in so many other cases as well why nothing is being made to change gun laws. “It is sad that the Honeycutt,and Knight family members lost a person they love dearly.I lost my nephew to gun violence,and to be honest,that pain never goes away. I just deal with I and when I get low, I pick up a basketball,and try to shoot the pain away. The same way I´m sure that Tyler Honeycutt,and Billy Knight did. .With that said,as a proud American who loves guns,and as much as I hate to say this,the time has come to change our gun laws. I sure don´t have a solution but since I´m a dumb jock I guess that´s not my job. We can´t blame UCLA for these two great basketball player´s being gone. I hope that the NCAA can use the death of these two great athletes to dig even deeper when it come´s to a mental health issue substance abuse issue,or what ever else it may be to get athlete´s help. Not just for the year´s that a basketball player is eligible, but for the rest of their lives”, stated Joe Asberry who balled in Europe in the 90s and now is helping young Americans make a better transition to overseas life.

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