A sad day in the Classic City
The sun came up this morning in Athens, but that hasn't done much to make folks feel better around here. Thursday afternoon, Kevin Brophy, a guard on Georgia's basketball team, died in a car wreck while going home to Savannah. Honestly, it feels like the Bulldog nation has been kicked in the gut right now.
Brophy died after being involved in a two-car accident on Highway 15 and weather has been reported to have been a factor. Brophy was returning home after helping staff a basketball clinic earlier in the day for local youths.
The fact that he was going home in bad weather after working a basketball clinic is perhaps the cruelest part of his untimely death. He could have been home with friends and family in Savannah earlier in the day, but stuck his neck out to touch the lives of kids at a basketball camp.
Brophy's willingness to stick his neck out to touch the lives of local youths sums up his career with the Bulldogs. Though he only played two seasons with the Bulldogs, he touched plenty of lives around the Bulldog basketball program during his time in Athens.
He walked-on with the Bulldogs for the 2005 season and caught attention with his effort on and off the court that earned him a scholarship. His season highlight came against Vanderbilt when he scored 19 points in a win that was one of Georgia's two SEC wins that year.
This past year, even when his minutes went down with the addition of some freshmen guards, Brophy's devotion to his team never changed. Throughout the year, Georgia head coach Dennis Felton praised Brophy during interviews for his effort during practice that set an example for Georgia's freshmen new to the college game.
Brophy moved to the United States in 2003 from his native country of Australia aiming to play college basketball. He didn't have it easy, but like anything else he did, he was willing to do whatever was needed to accomplish his goals. He came to Georgia in 2005 in one of the darkest chapters in sports in Athens, jumping feet-first into a Bulldog program that went 8-20. Instead of tucking his tail and going home, Brophy became a key part of the Bulldogs that year, becoming Georgia's top option coming off the bench.
This past year, Brophy didn't get as much of a chance to contribute. Like he'd always done since coming to Athens, Brophy didn't let circumstances change his place with the Bulldogs, leading the team with his work ethic on the court and in the classroom.
Today, the Bulldog Nation isn't quite as good of place without Kevin Brophy.