By Rachel Kearney
Brandon Streets first grew his beard out with his roommate and fellow teammate, former Olivet basketball player and alumni Josh Bronke, last year for a couple months during the 2009-2010 season. When he tore his meniscus during preseason last September, he began to grow his beard out again at the prompting of his teammates. He continued to grow it out when he returned to the court and even when he joined his baseball teammates in late March.
Now the redshirt junior forward and pitcher is taking his beard to a whole new level.
“I grew my beard out. Then, naturally the next thing to do was braid it,” Streets said. “It seemed logical to me.”
Streets allowed senior women’s basketball player Simone Coburn have the honor of weaving five tiny braids amid the coarse, black hair on his chin last Friday.
“Before I braided it, I kept thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’m going to braid Streets’ beard,” Coburn said. “He’s the first beard I’ve ever braided… I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it.”
Nevertheless, ten painful minutes (according to Streets) after Coburn started, Streets’ facial hair was braided.
During the following Saturday and Sunday, Streets had a baseball game, visited friends, and went home.
“I got a lot of looks of curiosity [from opposing baseball players],” he said. “After the game, my dad came up to talk to me. I was waiting for him to say something about it but he didn’t. But my mom was legitimately upset.”
Senior Tara Schmidt was not a fan of the braids either.
“I think I’m gonna throw up,” she said upon seeing a picture of his braided beard.
While Streets said he loved the braids, by Sunday his hair was feeling unclean and getting frizzy and itchy. So Streets took the braids out but said he would have it braided and tie it off a few more times, and that he would bleach then dye the tips red at some point as well.
When asked why he wanted to dye the tips red, Streets said, “No reason. I just thought it’d look cool.”
Streets and other beard-admirers think it looks cool, but he said head baseball coach Todd Reid does not completely agree, saying that he would have to shave his beard off if the team made it to a national tournament.
“He doesn’t want us looking like hoodlums when we travel and represent the university,” Streets said.