Wednesday, January 7, 2009

DUNK IT!!

My friend John Polak and I are big college basketball fans and have been to quite a few Big East Tournaments over the years. John graduated from Georgetown, his brother Michael graduated from Boston College and I went to UCONN, all Big East schools at the time.

The Big East Tournament takes place at the "Mecca" of basketball, Madison Square Garden in New York City. In 1999 during one of the games, I was standing in the aisle near center court watching the game at hand and I saw Tom Moore, one of the UCONN assistant coaches who was scouting the game, walking up the steps toward me. I was wearing a UCONN 1990 NCAA tournament sweat shirts at the time and said hello to Tom and had a brief conversation with him.

Tom was quite pleasant and noticed my 1990 sweatshirt. I said to Tom, " I noticed the inside players are missing a lot of easy shots from close range by trying to lay up the ball instead of dunking. They should just dunk the ball, the crowd would go wild, and they would have a higher percentage of made shots or at least they would probably get fouled if they missed." I was making dunking motions with my arms and hands and John, who was watching from a distance got a kick out of this.

Tom replied, "Yes, we encourage Voskhul, Freeman, and the others to finish strong. Jake Voskhul does a good job for us on defense and setting screens but I thing we have a good chance this year with our strong guard play".

The next day I bought a copy of the USA Today newspaper and there was a picture of UCONN player Kevin Freeman dunking the ball.

Whether this was a coincidence or whether coach Moore said to the UCONN team even the fans are telling me you guys should have dunked those missed shots; I'll never know.