Forward’s dog mentality will be tested

Amanda Fulmer

After year off, Knight out to prove himself

Tattoos are more than just ink to Isaac Knight.

The redshirt freshman forward stands at 6-foot-7 and loves tattoos. His skin is a collection of eight tattoos up and down his arms. He bares his soul right there on his arms for everyone to see.

He displays his name in Chinese characters and a cross with “R.I.P.” for his father who passed away when Knight was 2 years old.

There’s a basketball player palming a ball on his upper left shoulder.

Knight borrowed the phrases “all eyes on me” and “hold my own” from Allen Iverson. And then there’s a bulldog with the words “Dog Mentality” scripted under it.

Knight is a tough, all-around athlete that Kent State could have used last year on the court.

In his senior year at Crockett High School in Detroit, Knight averaged 16 rebounds and 25 points per game.

And he did all of that with an injured shoulder that was in need of surgery.

“My junior year of high school, I was passing the ball down the court, and when I passed it I heard a thousand cracks in my shoulder, and I just went down to the ground crying,” Knight said.

He didn’t pay much attention to his shoulder, although he said it caused him a lot of pain. He did nothing more than massage it and pop it back into place before every game.

Knight was a two-time All-Detroit selection and led his high school team to a semifinal Detroit city game and an appearance in the Michigan semifinals.

After playing – and dominating – two years of high school basketball with his injured shoulder, Knight came to Kent State, where he was told he had to get surgery.

“I thought I was going to be way behind after my surgery with lifting weights and everything,” Knight said. “I got really down after surgery because my one shoulder got real skinny, and I just thought I was never going to come back 100 percent.”

The surgery put him out of his rookie season for the Flashes and for someone like Knight, who will do anything to play, it was difficult for him to just sit and watch.

“It was hard,” Knight said about having to watch his team from the bench last season. “I knew I could of helped them out on the defensive end with rebounding shots.”

For Knight, this is a brand new year and the beginning of a new season. With his shoulder as good as new, Knight is eager to get on the court and show Kent State what he can do.

“I’m very excited,” Knight said. “I feel like I have something to prove to everybody.”

Knight said he is especially looking to prove something when Kent plays at Syracuse Dec. 30 because he will be playing against his old high school coach, Rob Murphy, who coincidentally used to be the assistant coach for the Flashes as well.

However, the game will just be another chance for Knight to show what he can do.

After ignoring injuries, playing through pain and working back from a year-long injury, Knight, once again, must prove his “dog mentality” tattoo doesn’t lie.

Contact sports correspondent Amanda Fulmer at [email protected].