College athletics and sports in general have became a vessel for story lines and the establishment of entertaining characters and personalities. Take for example Johnny Manziel, regardless of how electrifying he may be on the field, his personality and eccentric behavior off the field makes him even more appealing and interesting to fans of the game. College basketball and the Big Ten are no different and one player that comes to mind is former Nebraska Cornhusker Andre Almeida.
Almeida wasn't some star athlete setting the world on fire but he still established himself as a fan favorite on his way to starting 17 games in his senior season at Nebraska. His path to Lincoln was a long one, born in Brazil and even playing as a member of the Brazilian Junior National Team before becoming one of the nation's top bigs at the junior college level while playing at Arizona Western College. He would eventually transfer to Nebraska (playing for fan favorite Tim Miles) where he would gain popularity as he dwarfed over opposing centers.
No, seriously, if you don't remember Almeida was a meaty 6'11 and 314 pounds, making opposing centers look like small forwards in comparison:
Andre Almeida of Nebraska and A.J. Hammons of Purdue. They're just plain big. pic.twitter.com/KG7YCUwtta— Mike Hlas (@Hlas) March 14, 2013
And while Almeida faded down the stretch in his senior season, he still had several dominating performances, like a 20 point 11 rebound outing versus Wake Forest in 2012. Even when he was relegated to backup duty during conference play, seeing Almeida run up and down the court and knock around opposing defenders was truly a beautiful sight to see. Something that can be agreed upon on other SB Nation websites as well, such as Land-Grant Holy Land, who pinned a field guide on the Brazilian center.
Oh, and he's got some ups as well:
I swear that watching Almeida slam it down will never get old. And either will Big Ten basketball and the wide variety of players and personalities we're introduced to each season. Only 65 days remaining until we're back guys.