The return of the Big Otter was a special occasion for The Bronx, a surge of pride for their native son coursing through the borough ever since Santa Ana called his name as the number three draft pick. Though, you wouldn't have thought that would be the case years ago when he decided to bail on his hometown, as so many put it. When Tyrese brought his suffering high school closer to State than they had ever been, it was the hope of the city that he would finish what he started close to home in New York. It was to be one of those feel good stories that would forever be a part of the borough's history. The hard knock kid overcoming his struggles, rising, persevering, and emerging victorious to do his city proud.
But the giant otter threw everyone for a loop, surreptitiously choosing a school who had campaigned heavily for him, but most figured was not even on Ty's radar. The Alabama Mammalian U basketball program had been climbing back out of a complete rebuild for the last several years with impressive momentum, but the born and raised Bronx native surely had no business at a school like that. His cryptic statements to the press about his choice only bolstered the anger that rose from the confusion.
When the exploits of Coach Lamar started coming to light, the collective opinion of The Bronx's wayward son shifted from that of disappointment to that of speculation. It was no secret the FBA-bound lutrin owed much of his success to the deposed margay. Standing on the precipice of a fall Tyrese may not recover from, Coach Heath Lamar, who was known for taking at risk kids under his wing, stepped in and gave the young otter the direction and support he needed. The coach praised Tyrese like a proud dad every time reporters hounded the two after another big win for the small high school. It was a sentiment Ty reciprocated, likening the coach to a father he desperately needed and never had.
However, not much was said by either once word got out. City High's much favored Coach Heath Lamar accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. The accusation stunned everyone. But as soon as the shock wore off, more stepped forward. Current and former students alike broke silence. It was nightmarish to hear what had been happening. Some flocked to his defense, most cursed his name in conversation. It dominated the news cycle for weeks and it seemed like everyone including the hot dog guy had something to say. But it wasn't the opinion of Joe Shmo that everyone was eager for.
Stoic and unflappable, Tyrese Vaughan's initial response was reserved, perhaps at the behest of others. He denounced his former coach fervently but said nothing more on the matter. Questions about his knowledge of the behavior, whether or not he has a victim himself, if this had any bearing on his decision to go to college out of state were all responded with "no comment." As time dragged on, as did the proceedings and inquiries regarding the illicit activities that seemingly spanned the coach's tenure, Tyrese grew increasingly verbose about the topic, lashing out at his mentor's betrayal and how the system failed to protect the most vulnerable. And though his vitriol for the man grew, those questions that reporters and random people alike hounded him about remained unanswered.
His silence bred suspicion, even conspiracy theories. But as the inevitable march of the news cycle lurched beyond the proceedings, the cities attention on Tyrese Vaughan shifted to anticipation of the FBA draft. It was a welcome respite for his community, a chance again for hope instead of shame. Though it was not the story that everyone was hoping for, it was a boon to have their proud Bronxite excel in the face of adversity. Their pillar of hope that would not fall.
All of the Bronx and beyond was glued to their screen of choice to watch the FBA draft. The stigma surrounding the events that had been unfolding the past few months became but minor annoyances to the giant otter, who, like in most everything in his left, had powered through and garnered the expectation to become one of the highest echelon in the draft class. When his name was called, The Bronx erupted and it seemed all was forgiven.
In that moment, everything changed for Tyrese. Every struggle meant something. And as reporters flooded in to have a word with the #3 draftee, no one was asking about his former coach. He heaped praise and thanks on everyone he could think of, and he wasn't thinking of him.
"What is it that you look for in a successful team?"
"Trust is a big thing for me. Between players, between coaches, between manag—"
The news cast that showed the big otter draft pick flickered off the old television with a fizzle and a buzz, its remote being flung across the derelict one room apartment.
"Bullshit," Nate Booker hissed.
General chit-chat all the teams in the West. Rumors, idle banter, trash-talk.
Make sure to read the Rules of 'Roleplay'
Make sure to read the Rules of 'Roleplay'
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