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NBA

Preppies No More: Elton Brand Never Considered Himself A Part Of Duke’s “Posh Group Of Yuppies”


Last week, when ESPN aired the Fab Five documentary, several members of the iconic Michigan team made it clear they weren’t the biggest fans of Duke when they were in school. Former player (and current ESPN analyst) Jalen Rose made comments that Duke only recruits “Uncle Toms” and “black players from polished families.”

Rose’s comments were extremely controversial. But they also ignited an extremely interesting and important discussion about Duke, their recruiting practices, and the black athletes that play for them.

In the interest of shedding light on how (at least one) of Duke’s black players felt about the school, it’s important to read this email exchange, which originally surfaced in 2007, between Elton Brand and a Duke student named Jennifer Taylor. The emails were written after Brand left Duke after his sophomore year (not a common decision back then). He reportedly admitted to writing his response.

From: Taylor, Jennifer
Sent: Friday, April 16, 1999 2:55 PM
To: Brand, Elton
Subject: Leaving Duke

I graduated from Duke last May and just wanted to express my disgust for your decision to leave the Duke program after only two years. As an alum, not only do I hold the school in high regard, but the basketball program as well, especially since both have deservedly garnered such a great deal of respect for their accomplishments.

As part of our basketball program, you represent Duke as a whole. We are first and foremost an academic school, you clearly did not belong at Duke in the first place if this was the extent of your commitment to Duke and a college education in general. You have not only insulted the current students who are putting in four years at a school they love, but also the thousands of alumni who have realized the value of a Duke education and what an honor and privilege it was to be there for four years.

If you do not realize the opportunity you has infront of you to play for Coach K and at the same time attain a Duke diploma, then that is certainly your loss. I just wish that you has spared us the notion that you were continuing in the tradition of being a Duke student-athlete, in emphasizing excellence in both academics and athletics. You will not be considered part of the Duke family, in my mind as well as many others. You have by no means proved yourself worthy of that title.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Taylor

From: Elton Tyron Brand
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 1999 8:05 PM
To: Taylor, Jennifer
Subject: Re: Leaving Duke

Thank you very much, for reminding me of the reason why I left Duke. People like you can not and will not ever understand my situation. I’m sure daddy worked very hard to send your rich self to college. While real people struggle. I would also like to extend an invitation for you not to waste your or my time ever agin. Never being considered a part of your posh group of yuppies really hurts me to the heart. Yeah, right. Because I don’t care about you or your alumni.

Sincerely,
Elton Brand #42 NBA

[Now hate This: The Duke Edition] A Sea of Blue


  • Meh

    Is there any proof Elton actually wrote this? I’ve seen it reported that he did, but all vaguely.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AM7GT4D6F4R4C3VZKRHJAD5K3I African Warrior

    No it is not true. It is clear that the author of this article is just as big of a Racist Bigot as Rose and Walker.

    This author states “which originally surfaced in 2007″, however it has been around since “Angry Duke Fan’s Correspondence With Elton Brand” Posted Thursday, May 05, 2005 under Humor in none other than the UNC Tarheel Times. This is just another low class no class scam by Duke bashing hate mongers.

    They pulled a similar stunt saying Thomas Hill and Christian Laettner were not just roommates, but gay lovers.

    Elton Brand is married to his Duke Alumni wife, and Started the Elton Brand Foundation in the spring of 2000 – it’s an organization that provides support to worthy causes in Durham, NC

    June 9, 2010
    DURHAM – BDN caught up to Elton Brand during the Coach K Academy and got his thoughts on his return to Duke and his future with the Philadelphia Sixers [76'ers].

    Elton has participated in Coach K’s basketball camps for years, which for the record provides the opportunity to so called underprivileged children from the same circumstances as ESPN’s Racist Bigot analyst Rose and Walker claim they would not even recruit. Those two and the author of this article are precisely what they claim Duke to be, racist piles of human gutter trash.

  • Richie G.

    I went to school not so I can get an education, but to be able to get a high paying job later in life. Had someone offered me a ton of money to work for them, I would have quit school and never looked back. If Elton truly wrote that email, he should be proud of himself.

  • yawn

    so who is Jalen racist against exactly?

  • Justinian

    This letter actually is legitimate… there are other letters surfaced on the web which have curse words and the like that Brand has denied writing, but he admits to writing this letter.  
    Elton is a real man and I am glad he wrote back to this snob.

  • james v

    “Brand left Duke after his sophomore year (not a common decision back then).”  Brad Cohen is a joke, 14 out of the 29 people in the 99 draft left school early…not common, only 49%.  Let’s continue on with more pointless, poorly written articles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronnie.brick Ronnie Brick

    Elton brand was the first Duke player to leave early in Coach K’s tenure.


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