Who is Donald Brashear?

If you thought you knew the answer to that question, but hadn't read this profile in the Washington Post from a few days ago, you don't. Or not nearly well enough:

The house Donald recalled from his youth had a long hall, leading to his bedroom. The window shades were usually pulled shut, and Donald would sit there in the dark, hoping his father's shadow would pass his doorway and keep going, because that meant he was being good and he wasn't going to be hurt.

Donald remembered that his father cared for him, but most of those images are washed away by the recollection of looking down at his left hip one day and seeing snaking, imprinted lines in his skin. It was shortly after he had moved to foster care, and the scars confused him at first. Then he remembered: "My dad beat me with an electric extension cord."

Brashear, now 37 and nearing his 1,000th career game, had a heart-breaking upbringing, and to this day has no contact with his family in Quebec.

Say what you will about the suspensions and his style of play — it's amazing that Brashear is as well-adjusted as he is given what he's gone through in his life. An incredibly sad story.

The Post's Mike Wise talked to readers about the story earlier this afternoon and fills in some of the details about how it was written.

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