PORTLAND A new and very patriotic member of the Portland Trail Blazers had an extra special reason to be excited about Monday night s game on the Veterans Day holiday.
Blazers' center Meyers Leonard's older brother served in Afghanistan and was in the stands Monday, It was the first chance he s had to watch Leonard play in the NBA.
Before he [Meyers] reached the NBA, I d always have dreams of him playing (there) and now it s real, Bailey Leonard said, beaming. Veterans Day is an important day for me as well as every other veteran who will be here tonight.
The Leonard brothers have a special bond, which many fans learned about through a YouTube video that went viral last year.
Meyers was playing for the University of Illinois at the time and Bailey shocked him by showing up at practice while he was on a surprise leave from the military.
Bailey served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and Meyers said his brother was always in his thoughts.
I would lay awake at night some nights and be worried about him. I was always thinking about him, Meyers said.
Bailey is no longer in active duty now and the brothers said they stay in touch through a bond that transcends sports.