Video: Isaiah Livers, Mike Smith talk early-season progress

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I think we’re going to really enjoy watching Mike Smith play this year. He’s obviously a very intelligent young man having graduated form Columbia. On the offensive side of the ball, he’s got skills. He can handle it, he can pass it, and he can shoot it. Defensively, I saw him work very hard, but I appreciated hearing him say, “we can work harder” or something to that effect. At 5’10 he’s going to have to establish great position using skill, instinct, and intelligence, and he’s going to have to work hard. He will.

Isaiah is simply one of my favorite payers, probably in history, and I go back a long way with Michigan Basketball. Living on the west side of Michigan I’ve followed Isaiah for quite a while, since he was a junior in high school, and I was ecstatic when he committed to Michigan. I’ve said before that when his basketball playing days are over, he’ll be broadcasting games or he’ll be in the studio analyzing them. He’s just got a gift, the “it” factor, with that GREAT smile and wonderful ability to speak and express himself beautifully.

Wednesday afternoon he expressed himself in another way, too. Now, I don’t want this to be political, and I can certainly debate the point with just about anyone, but I liked seeing him take a knee for the National Anthem. I said to myself, “There’s my guy. Way to go Isaiah. I’m with ya!”

He said in the interview, “I didn’t want to disrespect any veterans.” Well, I AM a veteran and I didn’t feel disrespected at all, and I never do when one of our young men take a knee. Frankly, I admire Colin Kaepernick, for his courage and for the fact that he was willing to give so much to take a stand by taking a knee. So I absolutely didn’t feel disrespected. I felt a sense of pride that Isaiah wanted to take an incredibly important stand by taking a knee. I support him.

Last thing, and honestly I don’t want to make this political or off topic, it really should be about two outstanding basketball players and two fine young men who represent Michigan. I have studied and taught American History. I believe I was honest and true to my love for this country in my teaching. But as a vital part of the history of this nation I taught the history of the Black man in America, and I also taught the history of the indigenous peoples on this land, those we call Native Americans or American Indians. For those of you who don’t know I’m a little old white guy, but I believed it was important for my students to know, and hopefully to understand, all of our history. There is a greatness to our history, and American values in which I believe, but there is also tragedy that we must understand, and I tried to teach it all, the good, the great, and the tragic. I taught the history I’m proud of and I taught the history I’m not so proud of.

I have lived in this nation for 73 years. I’ve studied and I’ve taught the history of this nation to our children. I’ve served PROUDLY in the army of this nation. I’ve raised three children of whom I am exceedingly proud, and they all believe in the VALUE of all human beings. I’ll say again, I supported Isaiah in taking a knee and I will continue to support him. I value that he is willing to take a stand for an important concept by taking a knee. If you don’t agree, I’ll respect you for that, but I won’t argue with you. Not on here.

Finally, Dylan, I’m sorry if this violates community standards or if it detracts in any way from the intent of the video piece you put up, and certainly if you wish, take it down. I will absolutely not be offended if you take it down. I realize kneeling for the National Anthem is a sensitive subject. This is, after all, a sports forum, and he piece you put up is about two great kids, one, Isaiah who is one of my all time favorites. And the other, Mike Smith, who may become a fan favorite before the year is done! Peace all. Go Blue!!!


Great job Silverblue.


You never let me down Silverblue. I totally agree with you here again.:wink: