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Ex-Buckeye carries on basketball tradition

When Brandon Fuss-Cheatham graduated from Ohio State, he wasn’t sure if he’d ever feel as attached to the tradition at his alma mater.
“One thing that I didn’t realize while being in school is, when you graduate and move on into the real world it is very surprising how deep and strong the alumni base is across the county.”
Fuss-Cheatham, a major part of an OSU men’s basketball team that faced plenty of ups and downs, played in 113 games for the Bucks from 2001-2005.
“I miss the pure joy of being around my teammates and coaches,” he said. “Most of your time in college was being around your teammates and staff.”
In his freshman season, Fuss-Cheatham played in 29 games, as the Bucks fell to Missouri in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. A year later, he saw action in 22 games as OSU took a step back, losing in the opening round of the NIT.
Fuss-Cheatham started the majority of his junior season at point guard for the Buckeyes, who ended the season 14-16. In his senior campaign, he started 20 games, playing a central role on the team that tainted Illinois’ undefeated record in the final game of the regular season.
The Buckeyes finished the ’04-’05 season at 20-12, but were banned from postseason play because of NCAA violations stemming from actions of former coach Jim O’Brien.
After his eligibility ran out, Fuss-Cheatham remained in school to finish obtaining his degree, turning down several opportunities to play basketball overseas.
At first, his love for basketball overshadowed his desire to put his marketing degree to use. Fuss-Cheatham ran an AAU basketball program and then a 24-hour basketball fitness program in Orange County, Calif. He strived to keep basketball in his life any way he could, he said.
“Being able to travel, practice and of course play with OSU on your shirt with the people you worked so hard with was awesome,” he said. “Also playing in front of such loyal fans made you feel like you were a part of something special. The entire city was behind their sports.”
Eventually, he felt it was time to quell his passion for the game, and allow his marketing skills to pay off. He has been working for California law firms since spring.
While basketball doesn’t maintain the same presence in his life that it once did, the camaraderie and tradition of Ohio State has reappeared.
“I live in Orange County, Calif., and I meet people every week from OSU,” he said. “There are parties for football and basketball games with over 200-300 people, all alumni. It is a great feeling to be a part of the OSU tradition.”

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