Kyle Casey was supposed to be the best player for Harvard this season, which was going to be the year that the Crimson finally peaked under Tommy Amaker while sending Casey off into the sunset as a program-changer at the school.
Unfortunately, that’s not even close to how the season has played out.
Not only is Casey not on the team, he’s not even enrolled at the school. He got caught up in a cheating scandal at the school, one that involved up to 125 people and could have resulted in a one-year suspension that would have ended the collegiate eligibility of Casey, and fellow senior Brandyn Curry, had they not withdrawn.
The New York Times caught up with Casey, and while he may not be playing for Crimson, it certainly doesn’t mean that he’s become a detriment to society. Casey’s spent the time working with the 3PointFoundation, a nonprofit organization started by Andrew Mirken, a local high school coach, and Neil Jacobs, a lawyer for the Celtics, to help local kids. From the NYT:
The foundation conducts a free after-school program that is designed to help boys improve their skills in the classroom and on the basketball court in an attempt to point them toward a path to college.
“We have kids in our program that have been shot at, have brothers that have been shot and killed, their dads are incarcerated,” Mirken said. “When you give them an African-American role model, a young male, who is at an Ivy League school, he’s obviously going to change what these kids’ lives are.”
“I think being in his program has really rejuvenated me,” Casey said. “It’s given me that spirit again and the energy to wake up every morning with a passion and a purpose to make a difference in someone’s life, if not my life.”
Curry isn’t spending his time sitting around and killing time, waiting for next year, either. He’s working as an insurance salesman.
Everyone makes mistakes, especially when they are in college. It’s not the mistake that defines who you are, it’s how you react and whether or not you learn from it. The year away from the game is tough, but Casey and Curry seem to be handling it the right way.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.