The fight last week between members of the University of Kansas basketball and football teams made national news, but for one member of the Boston Celtics, it hit home.
J.R. Giddens was also involved in a late-night altercation when he was at Kansas. Coincidentally, one of the players involved in the recent fight wears the same number that Giddens wore as a Jayhawk.
Giddens earned All-Big 12 honors after his freshman season, but was stabbed in the calf in an altercation and eventually transferred to the University of New Mexico.
“I learned there’s a way that you should and shouldn’t act,” Giddens told boston.com. “Your decision-making — me getting stabbed — that could have been the end of my career. So it kind of made me want to be wise about the decisions I made.”
The turnaround worked for Giddens, who, despite being in much less prominent basketball program, was drafted 30th overall by the Celtics in 2008 at the age of 23. He spent some time on the Celtics’ Development League team, but registered some NBA time this past season.
Giddens stressed that mistakes can often lead to valuable learning experiences.
“They’re young men,” Giddens told the Web site. “They’re going to make some mistakes. Football and basketball, I’m sure they learned their lesson.”