Today we laid to rest one of Detroit’s own, Robert Traylor. Affectionately known as “Tractor Traylor” in many basketball circles. His life proved to be as controversial as his nickname. Then again, as a D-boy being controversial comes with the territory.
What is a D-boy? A “Detroit boy”? A “Dope boy”? A “Dangerous boy”? Well, the answer may be just as misunderstood as those who choose to don the label. To me, a D-boy embodies everything that is encrusted in you as person while growing up in the City of Detroit. A D-boy is very resourceful, wily, and determined. Determined to not only improve his own situation, but also that of those whom he chooses to surround himself with. Robert Traylor embodied all these qualities and more.
Tractor Traylor’s outgoing personality and infectious smile touched everyone he came into contact with. By all accounts, he was truly a gentle giant and genuine person in general.
By the time I entered high school, Robert Traylor had already established himself as a top prospect at a neighboring school. Two years my senior, he was already set to follow in the footsteps of the “Fab Five” and head up to U of M. I fondly remember being enrolled in a college prep program, that included students from Traylor’s school (Murray Wright). As we were bussed over to pick up those students, Traylor was a common site on those weekends. Constantly honing his game on the courts, and always offering words of encouragement to the underclassmen as they boarded the bus. “Yall gone make it out yall way, and I’m gone make it out mine.”, he would say.
The nickname Tractor was even controversial. Unfitting, because Traylor was actually very light on his feet. This came from years of jumping rope. A ritual that was prescribed to him by his aunt, who played basketball professionally herself. The name was fitting because not only was his game imposing to opponents, but also because he had the strength to pull up all those who he extended his reach to. Like I said, A True D-Boy…R.I.P
Ca~L- “Do I got somethin to say?! Yeah, just about everyday”
With a tough non-conference schedule with teams like Kansas, Syracuse, and Oakland yes I said Oakland, and a big road win at Clemson. I think UofM Basketball is back. Lets not forget the Big Ten is rated by all the experts to be the best conference in the NCAA with a hand full of teams ranked in the top 25. The Athletic Department has started putting money back into the basketball facilities since prior to this season the NCAA ban wouldn’t allow them to update any basketball facilities due to the Fab 5 investigation. Coach Beilein has players that fit his scheme he likes to play. With better facilities comes better players and its starting to show on the court. Coach Beilein has a ton of young talented players, Darius Morris #4 a up and coming college star point guard that is only a sophomore and with key recruits like Tim Hardaway Jr. a freshmen the talent is starting to build. Two years from now Coach Beilein has a enough talent, and recruits coming in to bring UofM Basketball back to national power house like the Fab 5 did.
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