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Monday, August 29, 2011
Mitch McGary's crazy shattered backboard

By Eamonn Brennan

By now, there's a decent chance you've seen a YouTube clip of 2012 recruit Mitch McGary destroying a backboard at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 event in Venice Beach, Calif. this weekend. If not, though, you can view the clip right here. Brace yourself, because it is insane.

McGary's strength was on full display, but that won't be news to any of the schools -- a who's who of recruiting powers -- currently seeking his collegiate hoops services. More noteworthy was McGary's toughness. As he told ESPN.com recruiting analyst Dave Telep, the Chesterton, Ind. native decided to ignore the deep laceration in his left shoulder and delay a hospital visit -- despite requiring 37 stitches! -- in order to stick around and watch his "boys" play out the rest of the Elite 24 showcase.

Dave describes the scene in a blog post today, and it sounds about as fun as something can sound when the words "shattered glass" and "37 stitches" are also prominently involved. From Telep's blog:
Once McGary decided he wasn't getting into the ambulance to go to the hospital, he re-entered the court to essentially a standing ovation. It was fresh out of a scene from "Gladiator." They loved him. The other kids crowned him king. After the game he strolled around the court with the net from the rim draped around his neck. It was one of those events that's going to be replayed and rehashed for a long time.

Amazing "Gladiator" reference! Are you not entertained, Boost Mobile Elite 24 showcase? Is this not why you are here?! The backboards we break in life echo in eternity. The beating heart of college basketball is not the hardwood of the court, it's the concrete of the Venice Beach. He will bring them shattered glass, and they will love him for it. (Seriously, I could do this all day. But yeah, I'll stop now.)

The broken backboard is a lost artifact of a bygone hoops era, before engineers strengthened the hoop apparatus enough to prevent players from ripping the rim hard enough to shatter the glass. The days of Shaquille O'Neal's brazen displays of strength are long gone. This is actually a positive development. After all, shattered glass is dangerous. But it's hard to deny how exciting a good broken backboard can be.

In the meantime, non-prospect-obsessed college hoops public got a taste of what recruitniks have been saying about McGary for years: The dude is a beast. Duly noted.