After lifting Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest to its first two boys’ basketball state titles as a two-time Gatorade National Player of the Year, Brandon Knight finds himself in the resurrection business again. The eighth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, Knight was given a second shot as a cornerstone point guard when he was surprisingly traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in the summer of 2013.
“Detroit made a business decision, and I am thankful they did that,” Knight said. “It put me in a better situation. I am thankful. There have been a lot of players who got traded in their career. I took the best of it and used it to get better.”
Early returns show Milwaukee might have gotten the better of the Knight-Brandon Jennings trade. A bigger and stronger Knight was one of the few bright spots on a Bucks team that struggled to 15 wins.
Knight led the Bucks with a career-high 17.9 points and 4.9 assists and took off after the All-Star break in February when he averaged 19.9 points. Knight and the addition of first-round picks Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker give the Bucks and first-year coach Jason Kidd an exciting trio to build around.
Throughout each stop in his career, Knight has traveled with an old school work ethic gleaned from watching his father Efrem Knight work double shifts on the railroad. That business-like approach set the tone for Pine Crest’s rise to prominence and had a steadying influence on a 2010-11 Kentucky team loaded with McDonald’s All-Americans, in the Wildcats run to the NCAA Final Four.
"My father worked the graveyard shift yet still made it to all my games," Knight said. "Seeing him do that I had no choice but to work hard and be disciplined. He taught me about life and everything. He taught me about school work. I never departed from it, to this day."