76ers

Corey Brewer Q&A: Superheroes, championships & fanny packs

Corey Brewer Q&A: Superheroes, championships & fanny packs

Corey Brewer’s path to the NBA all started on the hoop his dad built one morning behind their home in Portland, Tennessee. From there, basketball has taken Brewer to back-to-back NCAA championships titles for the Florida Gators and an NBA career that has included seven teams and an NBA championship.

Currently on his second 10-day contract with the Sixers, Brewer has instantly injected a spirit on the court and a veteran presence in the locker room. We sat down with Brewer to find out more about him, and reached out to the fans to see what they wanted to know.

Corey, growing up working in tobacco fields with your father in Tennessee, and being very close with your parents, what do you think is the biggest lesson your father and mother passed down to you?

My dad was probably live life to the fullest, always happy, no matter what. Things can always be worse, so never let anything get you down, so I think that's why I'm always smiling because he's like that.

My mom, my lesson from her was just be you. She always tells me to be me. Never wants me to change, she’s always just like be you.

Is it true that you are related to William Rogan, the second-tallest person in recorded history at 8-feet, 9 inches?

That’s what I’ve been told. I've been told that ever since I was a little kid. My mom says because the Rogans, that's my mom's maiden name, and the guy was from a small-town right where I'm from in Gallatin, Tennessee. I've always been told that, and I'm the only tall one really, so, maybe …

You played for Billy Donovan at the University of Florida, and then also went on to play for him in Oklahoma City last year. What was it like to play for him again 10 years later?

It was great. I love Coach D. Playing for him was amazing. He's a great coach. He gets the most out of his players. I feel like I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity. You go from (Donovan) coming to my house when I was 17 years old, and then I'm a grown man and get to play for him again, that's real cool.

What are your memories from draft night in 2007?

Crazy, a whirlwind, not knowing where I was going to go, thinking I was going to go to Memphis, then Charlotte and ended up going to Minnesota. I never thought I'd be in the NBA, so to actually get up there and shake David Stern's hand, it's stuff you dream about. My brother was a basketball player, too, so we always watched the draft. So I was like, "one day I'm going to walk up there and get a hat too," and I'm not saying you don't believe it, but it's kind of far-fetched, especially being from Portland, Tennessee. It was like wow, it was real.

In March of 2011, you were traded to Dallas. What was it like going on to win a championship with a team that you were traded to over halfway into the season?

It was an amazing feeling because when I got to Dallas, they welcomed me with open arms and it was a lot of veteran guys, I think that's why it was special. They took me right in. It was like I had been there the whole time. All of those guys are great guys and I feel like all of those guys helped me be the pro I am today. If it wasn't for those guys it would've been different probably. 

Is there a different feeling between winning a college championship and winning an NBA championship?

Of course. They're both at the pinnacle of what you're doing at the sport. Two different feelings, but both amazing. Two amazing, different feelings.

Time for some fan questions

What was your daily routine before you signed your first 10-day contract here with the Sixers?

I would get up and take my kid to pre-K at about 7 a.m. Come back and go work out at Rice University with my trainer. Work out from probably about 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., then I would go back home and try to make it back to pick him up from pre-K, and after that, it was being daddy.

You said you played superheroes with your son before joining the Sixers. What superhero were you?

Depends on what my son was feeling, but he always has to be Spiderman. Spiderman is his favorite superhero. I would be Hulk, Ironman, but a lot of times we would be Spiderman and Hulk, that was our main thing. We have all the costumes. Spiderman, Batman, Flash, probably 10-15 costumes of superheroes.

What do you keep in your fanny pack?

I keep my wallet and stuff, but it is mainly because I keep my toys in here. (Brewer rummages through his fanny pack at this moment.) Today we've got Army guys in here. The reason I started wearing a fanny pack is because I was always putting toys in my pocket. My son likes little figures. He likes Legos and little figurines like this, and so every fanny pack I have has toys in it. So that's why I wear a fanny pack.

Would you rather be trapped in Jurassic Park or Jumanji?

Jurassic Park because my son loves Jurassic Park and so we've seen all the movies and I think we might be able to figure out where Blue [the velociraptor in Jurassic World] was and see if he could help me out.

Favorite food?

I love Japanese food. I like hibachi and stuff like that.

What's Corey's favorite brew?

If I had to have a brew, I guess give me a Bud Light. I'm a simple man. 

Do you have any pets?

Great Dane named Chico, big guy.

How much do you bench?

I used to throw some weight back in the day, about 250. I don't really bench press like that no more. 

Who do you think is the toughest defensive wing in the NBA?

Probably Kawhi (Leonard).

Did Brandon Ingram say something to you after the dunk he had on you the other night?

It was just funny, because B.I. is my man. They used to call us the Wheat Thin twins, that's my guy. If anyone's going to dunk on me, why not let it be B.I.

Thanks to all the fans who sent questions in and a big thanks to Corey for his time.

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Sixers' Elton Brand, Matisse Thybulle and Tobias Harris protest in Philadelphia, encourage activism

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Sixers' Elton Brand, Matisse Thybulle and Tobias Harris protest in Philadelphia, encourage activism

Philadelphians on Saturday flooded the streets in protest of racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd last week. The sheer volume of the protesters was powerful.

Among those in attendance were Sixers forward Tobias Harris, who recently penned a strong personal essay on acknowledging and addressing systems of racism, rookie Mattise Thybulle, and general manager Elton Brand. 

The Sixers shared several photos and video from the protest on social media. Thybulle and Brand wore shirts with the words “I can’t breathe!,” which Floyd said as police officer George Chauvin was kneeling on his neck, and which Eric Garner said in 2014 as he was being choked by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. 

Harris’ shirt had the face of civil rights leader Malcolm X on it and the phrases “No sell out!” and “By any means necessary!” Thybulle held up signs that said, “Vote” and “We all have a voice — use it.”

“It’s always good to be around this many great people who are striving for unity and striving for people to have equality,” Harris said.

Raptors point guard and Philadelphia native Kyle Lowry walked alongside Harris and Thybulle. 

The Sixers organization standing behind those protesting and actively seeking to amplify their voices is significant. The team on Saturday also retweeted a post by Glenn Robinson III with information about a fundraising campaign that his non-profit organization, Angels Are Real Indeed (ARI), is launching.

ARI, which seeks to “help fathers become better in fatherhood, and help families without one,” will fundraise in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, Robinson announced. 

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Why is there a basketball hoop traveling through Philadelphia during protests?

Why is there a basketball hoop traveling through Philadelphia during protests?

Over the last week, you’ve likely seen, read about, participated in or experienced in some way protests against racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd.

You might also have noticed a basketball hoop rolling around Philadelphia. 

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Marc Farzetta recently talked with Philadelphia native Stephania Ergemlidze, who’s responsible for the traveling games of 1-on-1.

“Basketball is the one way I know how to spread love and I know how to bring people together,” Ergemlidze told Farzetta, “so it was a no-brainer.”

Ergemlidze said that she was cognizant of not wanting to detract or warp the messages of protestors. Philadelphians gathered on Saturday for the seventh straight day in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“That was something I was very, very nervous about,” she said. “What way can I do it where I’m not actually distracting from the protests? My goal was not to distract from the protests. My goal is to amplify it and show the positive sides of things, because right now I feel like they’re sharing a lot of negatives, like rioting and looting, but there’s also a lot of peaceful protesting going on.”

You can watch Ergemlidze’s interview with Farzetta in the video above. 

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