No one has ever doubted Tiki Mayben the basketball player.
But the doubters and critics have feasted on Tiki Mayben the person since he was anointed the country's top prep prospect as a sophomore.
"I never had no issues off the court. I never got in trouble off the court so anything that was publicized , anything that anybody said, that's just people talking."
He never felt entirely comfortable in the spotlight and committed to Syracuse as a freshman just to avoid the constant questions about his future. But bad grades prevented him from ever enrolling at SU. He then lasted only seven days at a prep school and eventually ended up at UMass. He played just one season there before moving back home to Troy to be with his girlfriend and newborn son.
"It's the best thing in the world for me to be a father right now because I ain't have that. So basically it ain't like I had somebody to look up to and say this is what I need to do. I looked at it from the situation of this is what I didn't have so this is what my son is going to have."
But basketball's always been his ticket to a better future and its given him plenty of second chances. The newest one coming from BU head coach Kevin Broadus. When others had written him off as another wasted prodigy, Mayben says Broadus sees him full of untapped potential.
"We just like bonded. He felt as though to not give a kid like me an opportunity is like kind of giving up on himself basically."
Mayben says Broadus is the first coach he's related to and thinks Binghamton could be the next block in rebuilding his life. But after years of disappointment and missed opportunities, basketball is no longer Mayben's top priority.
"Honestly, basketball is like a day-to-day situation with me right now. I'm just trying to do what I got to do to continue to further myself for the best of my son."
And maybe Binghamton will be the missing piece in the complex puzzle that is Tiki Mayben. In Binghamton, Justin Horowitz, Action Sports.