Sports

The Real Brandon Roy

With Brandon Roy coming out of retirement, it’s time to revisit the definitive Brandon Roy profile.

Brian Hendrickson wrote it for The Columbian in 2007. My favorite part comes when Roy is trying to pass the SAT in order to become eligible at the University of Washington:


The pressure weighed on him as Roy lived life with one foot in each world on which he teetered. He would rise in the early dawn darkness each morning, arrive at the Port of Seattle at 7 a.m. and start hosing out shipping containers that reeked of hell’s sewage after carrying untold goods from the corners of the globe.

Roy would emerge from his $11-an-hour job covered in muck and freezing from the autumn chill and rain. Then he would sit down with filthy hands to eat the lunch he packed, hop back in his car – the aroma of his work leaping out whenever the door was opened – and drive off for tutoring.

But the dock workers kept Roy focused.

“Man, you go to college, make the most of that opportunity,” Roy remembers his co-workers saying. “You don’t want to be doing this your whole life.”


That doesn’t sound like the spoiled, pampered upbringing we typically hear of for basketball stars. We wish Roy well in Minnesota, but, man, it will be tough for Blazers fans to see him in another uniform.