No more trillions for Titus

No more trillions for Titus

It’s rare for an athlete to brush off a potentially career-ending injury as if it’s nothing.But after learning that a tear in his shoulder could cut his final season short, Mark Titus wasn’t the one who was distressed.“My mom’s actually more disappointed than I am,” said Titus, a sarcastic senior on the Ohio State men’s basketball team. “When the doctors told her I was done, she started crying and she started talking about me playing basketball like it was me walking or something. She was like, ‘So wait, he’s never going to play basketball again?’ like the shocking revelation or whatever. She’s taking it much harder than I am, so it makes it easier on me I guess. She can take all the pain.”Titus first injured his shoulder during practice earlier in the season.When reaching in to swipe a pass intended for Dallas Lauderdale, Titus’ shoulder became tangled with the 6-foot-8-inch center. He eventually lost feeling in his shoulder, he said.Still, being the relentless warrior he says he is, Titus fought through the intolerable pain, delaying surgery so he could help his team on the court. However, the blogging benchwarmer received further damage to the shoulder when hustling for a loose ball in OSU’s win over the Wildcats.“Against Northwestern, in the one minute that I played, I went to reach for a loose ball and someone grabbed my arm again and pulled it out of the socket and it popped back in,” Titus said. “So, we took a look at it and it’s pretty bad.”Best known for his off-the-court gimmicks and his blog, clubtrillion.com, which has attracted more than 2 million visitors, Titus seems more sardonic than ever now that his final season at OSU has been derailed by injury. Although, “derailed” isn’t exactly how Titus describes it.“It’s kind of cool. We usually lift before practice and I don’t have to show up for the lift, so I can sleep in for an extra half hour or 45 minutes,” Titus said. “I can kind of do whatever I want during practice. If I just want to go downstairs and look at my phone for a little bit and come back up, I can.”Titus started Club Trillion and the “Trillion Man March” as a way to applaud the limited statistics that he and fellow senior walk-on Danny Peters amass in their brief playing time. A “trillion” is derived from the statistical showing in a box score when a player plays one minute, but accumulates no other statistics: zero points, rebounds, assists, shot attempts, free throws, steals, turnovers or blocks.More detrimental to Titus than the time lost on the court is the shortage of ideas to write about on his blog now that a “trillion” is unattainable.“It is weird, because I can’t do anything, really,” Titus said. “And it’s not just in the game, that I can’t get a ‘trillion,’ but I don’t even practice anymore. I don’t do anything. I just sit up here and just kind of watch. I get bored, really. I’m struggling to find stuff to write about because I’m not really as plugged in as I used to be.”As he wastes away aimlessly on the Buckeye bench, Titus can only ponder the direction his basketball career will take after leaving OSU.After averaging zero points and 0.5 rebounds per game during his junior season, Titus applied for early entry into the NBA Draft. The league rejected his application, however, asking him to withdraw his name before he made a mockery of the process.One year later, despite the bum shoulder, Titus feels more prepared for the next level. His statistics speak just as loud, as he has increased his scoring and assist totals from last year, both from zero to 0.1.“I’ve talked to a few scouts and they said that if I rehab properly, by the time the draft comes around, I should be back to full strength,” he said. “As long as I can prove that I am, it shouldn’t be a big deal.”

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