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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

BE READY FOR YOUR OPPORTUNITY BUT MASTER YOUR ROLE IN THE MEANTIME

I had the honor of knowing Garrett Temple at a young age because of my relationship with his family.  You knew that no matter what Garrett decided to do in life that he was going to be successful -- he had the right attitude and mindset.  His father Collis Temple was the first African-American to play at LSU and Garrett's older brother, Collis III, was an outstanding student-athlete as well.

The following is an excerpt of an article written by Jorge Castillo for the Washington Post (you can read it in it's entirety here).  It speaks of Garrett's desire to play and compete but his maturity in understand that a professional not only accepts the role he or she has but masters it.  His ability to step in and start early in the season speaks to his being ready when his opportunity came.  I'm a big Garrett Temple fan -- here's why:

Garrett Temple understands his role on the Washington Wizards. He was re-signed over the summer to provide depth at both guard positions as a defensive specialist but, most importantly, to bring a professional presence in the locker room. Temple has fulfilled those duties. He has played sparingly over the last two months but has maintained a positive attitude. He is often the first player applauding his teammates and constantly provides words of encourage. He plays the role to perfection.

But Temple believes he can be more than just a morale booster. He thinks he can contribute on the floor and points to the 13 games he started at the beginning of the season as evidence. He supplied further proof in the Wizards 106-98 loss to the Phoenix Suns Wednesday, captaining an all-reserve unit that trimmed Washington’s deficit from 17 to four points in less than five minutes to start the fourth quarter.

“I know I can play in this league,” Temple, 28, said. “Hopefully I showed that I deserve to play. I’ll get my chance but like I said, I’m going to be a great team player. Whenever I get a chance to play, I’ll go out there and give it my best and that’s basically it.”

“I want to play. I always want to play,” Temple said. “In the NBA you have to have some kind of confidence to be here and I know I can play in this league and I know I can help this team. But at the end of the day, it’s a team sport and we have a lot of guys that have that same mentality.”

Temple was a mainstay on the floor at the beginning of the season. With Bradley Beal sidelined due to a fractured left wrist, Temple started the Wizards’ first 13 games and reached double figures in four of Washington’s five games before his offensive production tapered off. Since then, he has had to adjust to impacting his team through other avenues.

"Me and Drew Gooden talked about this a few weeks ago; you can always affect the game,” Temple said. “If you’re not playing you can affect [a game] by how you act on the bench. If you’re smiling, you’re up being positive, that affects the game. If not, if you have a frown on your face, if you’re looking upset, you want to get into the game and you’re pouting, that’s going to be a negative effect on the game. So whatever I do, I’m going to affect the game in a positive way however I can."