Even when he’s been broken, Grayland Arnold refuses to quit.
Arnold owns the short-term memory loss necessary to play defensive back in the Big 12. Burn me on this play? Fine. Why don’t you try that again, because I’ve already forgotten about it.
Such determination served the Baylor sophomore cornerback well after he broke his arm during a preseason scrimmage. Arnold has worked his way back, and has started the last three games despite wearing a bulky cast.
We discussed his injury comeback, his glory days playing basketball and the origin of his name in a conversation this week.
So, Grayland is your given name and I noticed that your dad’s name is Grayland, too. Is there any special meaning to it beyond it being a family name, because it is kind of different?
It’s not anything special, but there’s just not a lot of us. I don’t know too many Graylands, I don’t know if you do, but there’s only two of us that I know. That’s me and my Pops. So that’s really about it on that name.
I know you played a lot of sports in high school, what all did you play?
I played basketball, baseball, ran track and played tennis.
So, out of all of those, besides football, what would your best sport be?
Basketball, most definitely. I was all-state for three years straight, we were the No. 1 team in the state for a while.
Kountze is good basketball country.
Oh, yeah. That’s what it’s known for. It wasn’t football.
Do you still get out and play hoops some?
Not really. We go to the ‘Slick,’ (the Student Life Center) we all as a team go and play. I go play, but I don’t play too hard, because I’m here for football. I like to play from time to time.
If you as a football team held a basketball tournament, who would make up your starting five? You’re the team captain.
So, I’m going to go with me, B-Nance (Brian Nance). Jamycal Hasty. Hmm, let’s see who all is on the team. I’d probably pick Jameson (Houston). He’s a good player. He’s athletic and it’s not too physical, so he’s going to play hard out there. (Laughs). Bravvion (Roy), for sure, too. Bravvion is one of the best on the team. You wouldn’t expect it, but big boy got moves.
What’s the scouting report on your game? What kind of basketball player are you?
My style, I’m more of a Russell Westbrook. I’m going to attack and get to the basket, make you miss. Might throw a few moves on, pull-up jumper. All that.
Can you rise up and dunk like him?
Oh, I can dunk. I’ve got a bunch of videos of me dunking.
If you’re playing NBA2K or something like that, what team do you play with?
Ah, I don’t play (video) games. But if I had to play, it’s going to be with King James.
So that’s your team?
That’s my team, Cleveland.
As far as the (arm) cast, how has that transition gone for you?
It’s been different. I feel like the past few games, I’m going to be honest, I’ve been shying away from it. Not really trying to put it out there in the fire. Any little bump or bruise, it might hurt a little bit, because I might hurt it sometimes. But at the end of the day I’ve got to stop that. Like today I just came out to practice and was flying around, not thinking about my arm. I’ve got the other brace off, so I’ve got my whole hand back now. I even got out there on the Rampage (a Baylor practice drill). I don’t know if I was cleared to do that, but I did it anyway. It was fun. So I’m getting used to it.
How about everyday activities, brushing your teeth and stuff, was it hard to do any of that?
No, I could do all that. It’s just with the (brace) on I couldn’t really move my wrist. But everyday activities, I was a normal person.