Battier, a Michigan native, was reportedly approached by the Democratic Party about representing the state in the United States Senate.
After the upcoming election determines the senate opening, the current Senator, Carl Levin, is retiring.Despite the incredible opportunity and interest in becoming a politician since childhood, Battier decided against a political career, for now.
Reportedly, an offer from ESPN to become a college basketball analyst is largely the rationale for why Battier is forgoing the opportunity to be involved in politics.
What does the Democratic Party see that makes the organization believe Battier will be a valuable member of the party?
By every account, Battier has the character of a saint. Associate Director of Athletics and External Affairs at Duke University, Jon Jackson once said this of Battier:
“He’s just a real person. A real good person.”
While Battier attended Duke, in addition to being a star basketball player, Shane interned at a public relations firm which represents McDonald’s and firms on Wall Street. Additionally, while leading Duke to three consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference titles he was named to the Student Basketball Council.
The 48-player advisory council represents NCAA players nationwide and routinely advises government officials.
During Battier’s time on the Student Basketball Council, he was elected chairman of the organization and testified before congress twice about gambling in college sports.
As a young man in college, Battier was asked if he would join then Senator Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign. Just like running for Carl Levin’s soon to be empty Senate seat, Battier declined and chose basketball over politics.
It’s no wonder why Battier gets so many nods from politicians. Over 13 years of post-game and pre-game press conferences, Battier has walked the line between funny and insightful.
From making fun of himself for ending a 4 year dunk-drought, “I might release a DVD of that,” to Zen-like political correctness when asked whether he is the most intelligent basketball player, “Intelligence is an esoteric measurement.”
Battier’s greatest strength is best observed in the locker room and his selfless style of play on the court, his teamwork. Battier won this year’s Jack Twyman-Maurice Stokes Teammate of the Year award. The honor is given to the teammate who exemplifies selfless play, commitment to his teammates and shows exceptional leadership off the court.
With political parties in total disarray, either political party could use a “glue guy” like Battier to rally their supporters and direct them towards a cause.
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