The 'love doctors' of OSU men's basketball
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 02:02
Love is very much an “every man for himself” type of game.
Still, every college student has somewhere they go, or someone they go to, for love advice.
Some students ask friends, some seek out advice from online resources and the old-fashioned demographic asks their parents or reads a book.
Members of the Oregon State men’s basketball team need not look outside their own roster for relationship recommendations, at least according to the players.
During a recent interview, OSU point guard Ahmad Starks was not shy in saying he and Roberto Nelson are the self-proclaimed love doctors of the OSU basketball team.
“Everyone has advice from me, even their girlfriends come to me, and Roberto’s pretty good at it too,” Starks said.
Throughout each level of life, athletic teams are one of the major institutions in which young individuals learn the social norms of dating, and get advice from older teammates who have been down the same road. In high school, freshmen come into the locker room like prisoners on the first night of “The Shawshank Redemption,” and — other assimilation processes aside — they can either learn the love game or end up like that fat guy who cries and gets beaten by the prison guard in the movie.
The change to college is no different from high school. Just as the jump from high school basketball to Division I is immense, so is the change of competition levels in the dating scene.
Starks might have declared himself and Nelson as the team mentors in the love world, but it was hard to find any teammates who agreed.
“Ahmad? You can never talk to Ahmad about relationships, he don’t know what he’s talking about,” said junior forward Devon Collier. “Berto? Berto’s always getting caught up in something. I’m the best person to talk about love and relationships with.”
Sophomore guard Challe Barton agreed, saying that himself and Collier were the ones on the team to seek for advice with women.
Eric Moreland said, “Those are the last people on the team I would go to for advice with ladies.” He added he is the one person on the team to come to for advice, because he knows “how to work stuff out in Corvallis.”
Jarmal Reid, a freshman from Georgia, added, “Rule number one: Never go to Ahmad Starks for love advice. He’ll ruin your whole relationship. But Berto, he has helped me out with some relationships that I’ve had ... I look toward my roommate, Victor Robbins. He helped me out with the ladies, because [he’s] real smooth and whatnot.”
Robbins, a freshman from Compton who sees limited playing time, agreed with Reid’s statement. Although he is far from this role on the court, Robbins believes he will soon be the team’s version of a leader in dating directions.
“I’m the best person to come to, but they don’t want to come to a young guy for advice,” Robbins said. “But if they need anything, I’m going to tell them the right thing — whether it’s good or bad. I keep it ‘G,’ I keep it 100 percent real. By the end of this year they’re going to be coming to me, even the upper classmen.”
The number one thing learned when talking to the OSU basketball team about relationships with the opposite sex: They all think they know the answers.
Most readers probably look at the basketball team as a group of guys who could get dates with nearly any girl on campus, and while this may be true, they also have their ups and downs in the relationship realm. They too have to ask their peers for advice.
Although he now appears to be severely discredited in the realm of love advice, Starks’ relationship motto is a timeless and undeniable one.
“Honesty, honesty is key,” Starks said.
His teammates may have chided him for saying he was the team love doctor, but Starks’ advice rings true for all this Valentine’s Day — not just Division I athletes.
Alex Crawford, sports reporter