The legend of Prince the basketball player has a new chapter.
Libor Jany of the Minneapolis Star Tribune gave us two wonderful Twitter gifts on Tuesday as he was going through the paper’s archives.
The first is a picture of Prince in a basketball uniform from his youth playing days looking like, well, Prince.
The second is a quote about Prince the basketball player that echoes the wonderful Chappelle’s Show skit. Pretty much anyone who watched Chappelle’s Show can’t help but think of this when Prince pops up doing all the weird things Prince does.
Here is the quote in its entirety:
“Prince was an excellent player; he was like the sixth or seventh man,” said Richard Robinson, his basketball coach. “He was an excellent ball handler, a good shooter and very short (5 foot 2). Probably with a different group of people he would have been a starter. But, as they turned out, they were probably the best all team that ever came along at Central. I knew he wanted to be starting and felt he should be starting. He was unhappy and he expressed that many, many times.”
Remember, Sway from MTV did interview Prince way back when and asked him about the story from Chappelle’s Show, and he admitted that he had some skills (Mike Tyson told this story in his memoir, as well):
Sway: I wanted to tell you this story first: I was watching the Dave Chappelle show, and Eddie Murphy’s brother Charlie Murphy does this thing on it called “True Life Hollywood Stories,” and he told this story that he was hanging out with you at your house, and you guys were listening to music, and then you came up with the idea to all go play basketball. He said they didn’t have any clothes, so you got them shorts and T-shirts, but he said that your crew showed up to the basketball court with the same wardrobe [as you wear onstage]. High heels, suited and booted. Is that true?
Prince: That part’s not true. But the whupping’s true.
Sway: The whupping’s true. So you’ve got basketball skills?
Prince: A little bit.
Sway: Yeah? What you got? A crossover dribble? Or a jump shot?
Prince: We didn’t call it crossover back then.
Sway: What’d you call it?
Prince: Just speed.
Sway: Just speed? So you played when you were younger? And you still play?
Prince: Sometimes. Not so much anymore.
We now know a little bit about Prince’s history as a basketball player to go along with the Questlove story about Prince being a rollerblading savant. Pretty much anything you tell me about Prince, I am going to believe. I think I’ll have to purify myself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka as tribute.
Thanks to Libor Jany for the find, and a good one at that.