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By LARRY VAUGHT
She had so many stories and so much information to consider, Tonya Knight thought there was only one approach to take to her book about her son, Brandon Knight, and his journey from a basketball beginner to a NBA first-round draft pick following his freshman year at Kentucky.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I just went with my gut instinct. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to take potshots at anybody,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Knight. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am very happy with the book. It will give people a little glimpse into our lives. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s even a surprise picture that Brandon knows nothing about. He is going to die when he sees it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
And what is that picture?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He has his mouth wide open and is sound asleep on a plane. I dread the day he finds out I did that,Ã¢â‚¬Â she laughed and said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was the day after the Final Four and we were going back to Florida to relax. He has this thing with motion. If a motor is humming, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to sleep. We had not left the runway, and he was asleep.Ã¢â‚¬Ë†I just couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t resist.Ã¢â‚¬Â
But thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a lot more in her book, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Diary of a Basketball Mom,Ã¢â‚¬Â that should be especially interesting for UK basketball fans. Some of the best tidbits will be about recruiting.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†take a glimpse into some of the ridiculous things that coaches said to us,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“There is a secret very few people know about BrandonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s decision on college. You get some inside information on Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) from Duke. He did something kind of crazy. There is a little on (Connecticut) coach (Jim) Calhoun, and some on (Kansas coach) Bill Self. The best one might be on (former Tennessee coach) Bruce Pearl.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Her story on Pearl Ã¢â‚¬â€ I wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t give it away Ã¢â‚¬â€ is one that I think Kentucky fans are really going to like and believe.
Knight has many of her opinions in the book, including her thoughts on her son not getting a chance to be named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year because UKÃ¢â‚¬Ë†officials flipped a coin and nominated Terrence Jones, not Brandon Knight. Jones easily won the award.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I get fired up about that even now,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I know one day I will get over it, but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see it coming anytime soon. I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t let that one slide.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“But there is a whole lot more about the freshman season at Kentucky. IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†met great people in Kentucky. IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†mean that. IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†met so many wonderful people. IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†put that in there. The whole freshman year, I cover it. Games, people, everything. And I do appreciate that coach (John) Calipari did what he said and prepared my son for the next phase of his career.Ã¢â‚¬Â
What she didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do was let her son have any input on the book. It didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter if it was about her telling the coach of his team when he was 8 years old to not use him to run up the score, a fight in AAU play or details about the draft. She went with her instincts with no input fro him.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I would never let him see it. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want him to tell me, Ã¢â‚¬ËœI canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe you put that in there. Take that out.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to buy a book if he wants to read it. IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†am telling the truth. I witnessed everything in the book,Ã¢â‚¬Â Knight, who says writing this book was more fun than previous fiction books she wrote, said.
With the NBA lockout, Brandon Knight has not been able to report to the Detroit Pistons to start his professional carer. However, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not hurting financially because of deals with Adidas and trading card companies.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Brandon is pretty frugal. If the lockout is about money, he is going to get every dime out of everything he can. If this player dispute is about the players getting what they are due, he will support it 100 percent,Ã¢â‚¬Â Tonya Knight said.
SheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s proud that he has no regrets about his decision to leave UK after his Final Four freshman season even with the lockout continuing.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He said you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have regrets. You make a decision and stick with it. We are proud of him for that,Ã¢â‚¬Â Tonya Knight said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He knew he had to be very careful when he made his decision. We told him to think of the pros and cons and make sure you can deal with the cons. He went into this with his eyes open.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“But to be honest, now he has a chance to get his body where he wants prior to entering the NBA. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s working out and has a chance to get better prepared for the next level. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s taking a few classes online and if the lockout continues, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll take a full load (of classes) next semester. I would love to see him playing, but it will all work out. To be honest, it is kind of difficult to even watch UK games. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even know if IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†am going to any games because he is not playing. On the other hand, Brandon is fine with not playing. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s handling it all fine.Ã¢â‚¬Â
So you know
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Diary of a Basketball MomÃ¢â‚¬Â by T. Rhythm Knight can be purchased at www.lulu.com for $14.99. You can also preview the first few pages of the book at the site. Tonya Knight also plans three book signings at Rupp Arena in conjunction with Kentucky games during December. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Brandon will be at one of them signing the book also. So for $14.99, you can get a book and his autograph, too,Ã¢â‚¬Â Tonya Knight said. She will also have a book signing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington.