NEWPORT, R.I. -- When Khaseem Greene started rehab for the gruesome ankle injury he suffered during the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl, he didn't have to look far for motivation. He didn't even have to look outside his family.
His half-brother, Ray Graham, tore his ACL against Connecticut two months earlier.
As the two spent the offseason rehabbing, they kept each other updated on their status. Soon enough, they were sending each other visual proof.
"We would send each other videos of workouts showing him that I'm out here getting better, what are you doing?" Greene said. "And Ray would send me one back like two days later: 'I ran my 40 in this time.'"
And just like that, the sibling rivalry took over.
"It was real competitive rehabbing, but that's the nature of us as brothers," Greene said. "We're competitors. We always want to be better than each other, but we know that it betters both of us."
Still, rehabbing can be a drag. Some days, relaxing on the couch seems better than a workout.
But thanks to their family, hopping off the couch and going to work out came easy.
"I give a lot of credit to my uncle Hakeem. He's always been our biggest critic -- he's always been an advocate," Greene said "There'd be days where I'd be feeling lazy and I'd have two workouts by design over my break set up, and he'd send me a video of Ray doing something -- squatting, whatever it may be. And he's like 'Ray is out here working, what are you doing?' and vice versa. He'd send Ray a video of me doing a workout and say 'Khas[eem] is out here working, what are you doing?"
So just like they always have, Greene and Graham pushed each other. While doing so, they hope to bear witness to each other's success.
"At the end of the day, that's my brother. I want to see him succeed just as much as he wants to see me succeed," Greene said. "So like I said it's been competitive between us all our lives, but it's for the better. "
For the better indeed.
Greene is the reining Big East defensive player of the year. Graham -- when healthy -- could be the best running back in the Big East.
And although ACL injuries typically take a full year to heal, Graham -- who declined to give a percentage to how his knee feels -- expects to be back Sept. 1 to play Youngstown State despite being only 10 months removed from the injury.
"In our family, we're warriors. We grew up as hard-working men. Nothing comes easy. God doesn't put anything in your life that you can't get through so I think we're going to bounce back," Graham said. "He's good. That injury was something small to him. A minor setback for a major comeback for us."