Written by: Jessika Morgan, SIAC Communications Intern
If you saw the back of a college basketball jersey reading Stoudemire and saw Lake Wales, FL was his hometown, according to the roster, you’d probably be baffled, right? Amar’e got drafted right out of high school the typical basketball fan would think.
Relax, it’s not a myth. It’s Calvin, the younger brother of the New York Knicks superstar. This Stoudemire plays ‘Magician’ ball at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, TN, a total diversion from his original basketball plan.
He’d planned to go to a basketball preparatory school before entering a major Division-I school, preferably in his home state of Florida. However, during his last Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) summer tournament, Magician head basketball coach William Anderson spoke with an AAU coach and asked to speak to young Stoudemire.
Stoudemire, who majors in finance, decided that it wasn’t about D-I or D-II, he realized something greater right before signing with LeMoyne-Owen: “I just want to go get my education and play ball.”
Now a senior, Stoudemire was truthful about the difference he may have experienced at another school. “I can say, a D-I would probably offer more publicity,” he said after imagining seniority-based ESPN highlights that revolve around his name.
He gets special recognition around the LeMoyne-Owen campus for being Amare’s younger brother, citing “even if I have a mediocre game…people think I’m good regardless of how I play. I get noticed just because of him (Amar’e).”
There have been numerous times when people, including his own coaches, have asked him if he is in fact Amar’e Stoudemire’s brother – kids would even mosey by trying to get a good look. “At first, it got aggravating, but the older I got, the more I knew how to handle it,” he said. He’s even been dubbed ‘Little Amare’ by some people.
But basketball, for him, is more than the advantages that come with having a NBA superstar for an older brother. Stoudemire said he’s truly grown to love the game. “Basketball teaches you life lessons: loyalty, honestly, trustworthiness. It taught me to be a motivator…it’s formed me into a stronger person,” he said. Basketball at LeMoyne-Owen couldn’t be any better for him on and off the court.
Usually, the Magicians return home for the summer. But this past one, Coach Anderson encouraged his team to stay in Memphis and prepare for the upcoming season. Because social amenities in the city were scarce, the team practiced literally every day which brought them closer together.
“That’s one thing about LeMoyne-Owen basketball, we’re bonded,” he said, “Every one of my teammates is like my brother, and I learned the respect of brotherhood.” Of course he meant a different type of brotherhood versus the one with Amar’e or his other three brothers. He also has four sisters.
Growing up, his mother compelled him and his siblings to play sports year-round as a way to limit mischief and, originally, baseball was Stoudemire’s first love. He rejected basketball until he reached the eighth grade.
Seeing the elder Stoudemire go from playing basketball at a simple park to getting drafted by the NBA’s Phoenix Suns ninth overall out of Cypress Creek High School in 2002, a similar scenario seemed unimaginable for Calvin when he was younger but he says embraces the challenge now. “If it can happen for him (Amar’e), maybe it can happen for me too,” Stoudemire said.
To read the full article, click here.