Greivis Vasquez: Why Preaching Humility is Important

John MartinCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 21:   Tyreke Evans #12 of the Memphis Tigers makes a pass play against Greivis Vasquez #21 in the second half during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Sprint Center on March 21, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

I don't have to reciprocate what Greivis Vasquez gloated in the press conference before the second round matchup between his Maryland Terrapins and the Memphis Tigers.

It's stamped all over the front page of the Commercial Appeal and other Memphis publications.

Even the heavily pro-Memphis crowd in Kansas City was sarcastically encouraging Vasquez's farfetched proposition.

"A-C-C! A-C-C! A-C-C!"

"If they (Memphis) were in the ACC, they would have a losing record," crooned Vasquez at the press conference.

Oh, Mr. Vasquez. I beg to differ.

Admittedly, Vasquez was half-right. There's no presentable argument that would prove the ACC weaker than C-USA. The ACC boasted teams like UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, Florida State, Maryland, Clemson, and Boston College into the tournament.

Granted, the last five teams have incredulously completed one of the more memorable disappearing acts that I can recall by a conference in recent years, but you get the point.

Conference USA lays claim to only one team in the tournament.

However, Memphis is a No. 2 seed and as Mr. Vasquez now knows, is no pushover. I have no doubt in my mind that Vasquez is no longer as insolent as he was when he trotted to the podium just yesterday.

General Vasquez led his army to a very sordid shellacking. And his contemptible choice of words only made it that much worse.

As much as I dislike the kid for his ill remarks, I respect him for the undeniable passion in with which he plays. I hope and pray that he comes out of this experience significantly more humble and unpretentious.

Though the stakes were not as high, a similar event took place when Memphis's own Joey Dorsey stepped to the podium, then a junior, and predicted that he would have a much better game than the dominating freshman, Greg Oden.

"It'll be like David and Goliath," Dorsey brashly stated.

Apparently, Dorsey needed a reminder of the Biblical tale. David came out on top, and so did Oden, who held Dorsey to zero points, three rebounds, and four fouls. Oden had seventeen points and nine rebounds. Memphis went on to lose, 92-76.

The point is that these amateur athletes should not be on the podium in front of the media and the entire country making bold—arguably outrageous—prognostications or anything of the like. It's not fair to their teammates or their coaches, who are going to be forced to pick up the pieces and stop the bleeding.

Just as coaches teach the high ball screen or the match-up zone defense, they should teach their kids the art of humility.

Not only would a lesson in humility set these amateur athletes up for success in basketball games, it would also set them up for success in life.

After all, a man modest in defeat is better than a man impertinent in victory.

Although I greatly appreciate the bulletin board material that General Vasquez provided the Memphis Tigers, I do feel that the sport of college basketball would be wholly better without these audacious declamations.

Don't you think so, Greivis?