Here are a few of the fascinating things that we didn't know before reading this Sports Illustrated feature about JaVale McGee, late of the Washington Wizards.
- His mother, Pam, was going to have an abortion, but apparently had a moment of divine inspiration hours before her appointment at the clinic
- He owns five iPads and is apparently the techie in his family (which is actually quite cool)
- He has named his pass-off-the-backboard-to-himself throwdown the "Super Hi-Fi Superphonic Supersonic Ultra Intercontinental Bring It Around the World Throw It Off the Back Dunk"
And there's also this note, which is small, but also telling to us.
Pamela didn't coach him again until he was 15 and they were living in Detroit, where she had been an assistant for the Shock. "I think I made a mistake," JaVale told her. "I want you to work with me again." Pamela pulled him out of Detroit Country Day, the power that produced Chris Webber and Shane Battier, and enrolled him at Providence Christian High, enrollment 65.
Now, we certainly don't know all the particulars of this situation, but wouldn't it have been better for JaVale's development to stay at a competitive program like Detroit Country Day? His mother could have still coached him privately, but wouldn't McGee have benefited more from fighting for his spot in a team than from going to a small school where he was always going to be the best player?
Sadly, either Lee Jenkins didn't feel the need to ask the question, or SI didn't feel the need to print the answer. But it's interesting to think about.