i  Jamal Mashburn leaned “A lot of times people are Jealous, tucky. But it’s not like I’m this big
, •   back on the trainer’s table J but everybody’s so proud ofJamal, star. I’m Just a friend who’s had
JJ   recently, and reflected on J first of all because they know what he some different experiences.”
ll     his career as a University of J had to do to get this far,” said Russell After playing on a select team of
    ·~ Kentucky basketball player J Glover, Mashburn”s cousin and one college all-stars who scrimmaged
  and his life as a student. In the last of his closest friends. “When he was against the United States Olympic
three years, the two have become sep- younger, Jamal had a hard time even i squad, Mashburn spent most of last
J arate entities. getting chosen for a team when they I summer in New York. He proudly
J In terms of his career, life has played in back of the building. They recalls how he spent a good deal of
l been extraordinary. called him a big baby, said he would J time in recording studios with Glover,
Mashburn, who played high school J never make it.   an aspiring musician-writer who plays
JJ basketball for Cardinal Hayes in the “The other reason people are I keyboards and hopes to produce rap,
Bronx, is firmly established as one of happy for Jamal is because of the rhythm and blues and gospel groups.
the nation’s elite players. The 6-foot- i kind of person he is,” Glover added. “He’s a person I really admire,”
8-inch, 240-pound player has l “He’s quiet, doesn’t bother anybody. T Mashburn said. “Sometimes I envy
achieved the perfect balance between l People want to talk with him or touch him because he’s so creative, he
J the pivot, where he dominates with a I him. I remember once a couple of taught himself to play. He can write
strong, versatile inside game, and the   people, I guess they were crackheads, and mix. That’s the thing, there’s so
perimeter, where he is a lethal 3- by William C. Rhoden much music \ J we
point shooter. T where I grew     A
His scoring average has in-   came up to him and wanted his auto-   up. People   S 
creased from 12.9 points a game as   graph and wished him good luck. Just don’t   O" '
a freshman, 21.3 last season, to   They said they followed his career l have the {X'.,
more than 22 points this season. l and were happy he’d made it. That resources to  
Mashburn, born in New York City A meant a lot to Jamal. He sees himself get it out.”
and raised in the Rangel Homes on as part of the community.” l Perhaps a little  Em  
155th Street, never played at the Gar- Indeed, aside from becoming a l more than he _ ;_ ‘£ ·  '
den (until last December). pro-caliber basketball player, Mash-   would like, trips to    
When Mashburn gauges the dis- burn’s most consistent quest, as he l Harlem also help I   V, 
tance he has traveled since leaving negotiates fame, is a longing to fit in.   remind Mashburn   °`§*J'JJ,J
. New York, he measures his progress In Lexington he is the Monster Mash,   that, for all the hype   _p "°‘
_. by what has taken place outside the J No. 24 or an all—America basketball of his all-America \ L   r ' `
arena. His world has now expanded player. He is featured on posters   career at Kentucky, Jl   
to a point where proficiency in bas- showing him crushing a basketball. A in some eyes, in ·-     f J
ketball isn’tenough.   Trips back to New York tend to some environments,    
“Sometimes I feel that playing bas- ground him in reality, help him he is merely a    I J
  ketball is the only gift I have, really,” J maintain a fix on what is real and potential criminal in  ‘  J
` i he said. I wish I could write music what is not. J a perpetual game oi ·
or play music. Basketball is not a real I know that s all part of the cops and robbers.
big thing. Something besides sports, hype, but that’s not who I am," According to his
I think, is a real talent, a gift God Mashburn said. “Sometimes in Lex-   family, Mashburn was
gave you. In sports, you can work on ington, there’s so much hype   stopped by the police 0
it and become good with hard work around basketball, you’re treated in in Harlem twice last §~
and talent.” a way that can make you lose sight l summer — both in _:
Indeed, those who know Mashburn of reality. Back home, around my cases of "mistaken iden- J , ig
talk about how hard he has worked to friends, I’m justJamal. They ask me tity.” The first time J J J , j Q
change from being a pudgy play- about my experiences. They want to Mashburn and two      QJ f
ground hopeful to becoming one of know what it`s like playing against friends hadjust picked   fi   5
the nation’s leading players. the Dream Team or playing at Ken- up Glover from his Job J*/,   ¤-
Spring 1993 Kentucky Alumnus 7