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Call from the Hall: CHD interviews Dale Brown about brand-new Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal

The Basketball Hall of Fame announced its newest inductees earlier this month and one of the lucky selections was former LSU center Shaquille O’Neal.  Shaq was a two-time All-American and named national POY in 1991.  He was the first overall pick of the NBA draft in 1992, ROY in 1993, and won the first of his two scoring titles in 1995.  From 2000-2006 he won four titles (three with the Lakers and one with the Heat) and was named Finals MVP on three of those occasions.  Jon Teitel got to chat with Shaq’s college coach Dale Brown about how he recruited the future Hall of Famer and what kind of guy is he like off the court. CHD congratulates Shaq on this well-deserved honor!

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How did you get Shaq to come to LSU to play for you? I found him when he was 13 years old in the mountains of Germany when I was over there to speak at a clinic. He was cut from his basketball team and the coach told him to try soccer instead, but I kept in touch with him weekly from then on and told him to continue to work hard at basketball. Continue Reading

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NBA Dreams: From Nothing to Everything

This is an interesting fictional narrative written by Daniel Jensen, special for CHD.  It is a passionate look at the journey from grade school to the pros as written from the writer’s mind’s eye.

Chants of “One More Year” reverberate across the hardwood as the eighteen-year old boy stands at the free throw line; this brief delay in action an occasion for the boy to reflect on where all of this began.

The dream begins, as it always does, with a lone boy and a basketball.  Maybe the boy plays in a dusty driveway down a deserted road in West Texas; unrelenting heat coaxing sweat from his skin as he practices the same crossover again and again.  And again.  Maybe he plays under the yellow glow of a streetlight, amidst piles of snow and ice patches indicative of a New York winter; his gloved-hands holding a perfect follow-through as the ball splashes through a chain net.  For the tenth time in a row.  And still he retrieves the rock, because if he hit ten straight – why not see if he can get to eleven?  He was born to do this, and when he plays against boys his age, it shows.  His peers try desperately to contain him, but the gap between he and them is too great.  He doesn’t feel himself getting better and he grows bored.  He knows that to realize his dream he must be better.

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Call from the Hall: CHD interviews brand-new Hall of Famer Nolan Richardson

The Basketball Hall of Fame announced its newest inductees on Monday morning and one of the lucky selections was former coach Nolan Richardson, who won more than 500 games during his career at Tulsa and Arkansas, including the 1981 NIT title and the 1994 NCAA title.  From 1981-2001 he made the postseason every single year except one, including six trips to the Sweet 16 from 1990-1996.  He was 1994 national COY and introduced the phrase “40 Minutes of Hell” to college basketball fans everywhere.  Jon Teitel got to chat with the new Hall of Famer about playing for Don Haskins and celebrating with Bill Clinton.  CHD congratulates Nolan on this well-deserved honor!

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You played at Texas Western College (now UTEP) for Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins, what made Haskins such a great coach, and what was the most important thing you ever learned from him?  He was a disciplinarian, so he saw to it that we competed hard day in and day out.

In 1980 you went 37-0 and led Western Texas to the national JC title.  How much pressure was there on you as the first African-American coach in school history, and what did it mean to you to win the title?  I always prided myself on doing the best job I possibly could: black coaches did not get a lot of opportunities.  I knew that if there were to be any to follow me, I would have to do the job well as the 1st.  I felt obligated both for myself and my race. Continue Reading

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Call from the Hall: CHD interviews brand-new Hall of Famer Gary Williams

The Basketball Hall of Fame announced its newest inductees on Monday morning and one of the lucky selections is Gary Williams, who won more than 400 games at Maryland including the 2002 NCAA title.  The Terps made 11 straight NCAA tourneys under his watch including back-to-back Final Fours.  He was a two-time ACC Coach of the Year and led three other programs to the postseason (American, Boston College, and Ohio State).  Jon Teitel got to chat with the new Hall of Famer about playing point guard at Maryland and becoming one of the best coaches in ACC history.  CHD congratulates Gary on this well-deserved honor!

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You were the starting point guard and team captain at Maryland under Coach Bud Millikan, where you set a school record by making 8-8 field goals in a game against South Carolina in 1966.  What made Millikan such a good coach, and what is your secret for being a great shooter? I was not a great shooter: he was a good coach because he did not let me shoot more! He was tough in terms of how he taught the game: you either did it his way or you did not play. Bud had played for Coach Hank Iba, who is considered one of the best man-to-man defense coaches ever. He gave me the confidence that I could become a coach. Continue Reading

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Phil Martelli Jr – ‘Dad’s A Coach and My Son is a TV Star’

Phil Martelli Jr. cut's down the net after winning the CAA

Phil Martelli Jr. cut’s down the net after winning the CAA Championship

If you are a big college basketball fan, the name Phil Martelli is an easily recognizable one. He just coached his 19th season at St. Joseph’s University, won the Atlantic 10 Tournament and made his sixth NCAA Tournament appearance. Martelli is an extremely well respected coach throughout the entire college basketball community.

What you might not know is that his son, Phil Martelli Jr., has followed in his footsteps and has also made a name for himself in the college hoops world. He has done it the right way, as his dad says, “without using his name, not that he could anyways.” He also is the father of the little boy who stole America’s heart at the Atlantic 10 Championship and NCAA Tournament. A kid who has gained more attention in the social media world than both his father and grandfather.

Phil Martelli Jr. is currently an assistant coach with the University of Delaware, who like his dad’s Hawks, won their conference tournament and received a bid for the NCAA Tournament. He played his college ball for his dad at St. Joe’s from 2000-2003 after walking on to the team. With this year’s father-son combo of the McDermotts at Creighton being a smash hit, Martelli says it wasn’t like that for him. “I was slightly less than the best player, you know i was more of the worse player.” He quotes current University of Miami head coach, Jim Laranaga by saying, “You can coach your son, as long as he is the best player or the worst player.” That never stopped Martelli from being the best teammate, which is the value his parents taught him was the most important thing in sports. He had advice coming from experience at all angles, his mother Judy won three national championships of her own at Immaculata University.

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She has Three Gold Medals and You Don’t: CHD interviews Tamika Catchings

When you are discussing the greatest players in women’s basketball history you probably think of Hall of Famers like Cynthia Cooper, Nancy Lieberman, and Cheryl Miller.  Another name that should end up on that list in the near future is the great Tamika Catchings.  She went 39-0 as a freshman at Tennessee and won the 1998 NCAA title, then led the WNBA in scoring as a rookie in 2002, was named league MVP in 2011, and led her team to a WNBA title in 2012.  In addition to being a great scorer, she is the only man or woman to ever be named defensive POY on five different occasions, and in her spare time she helped team USA win three straight Olympic gold medals from 2004-2012.  CHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Tamika about her work with the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team and what she thinks is going to happen this weekend at the Women’s Final 4 in Nashville. 

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Your father Harvey played in the NBA, your sister Tauja played professionally in Sweden, and your nephew Bobby played at Eastern Illinois: who is the best athlete in the family, and do you credit at least some of your success to genetics? Genetics for sure, but I also credit my dad because he spent countless hours with me to help me improve my game. I had the longest pro career of anyone in my family so I would say that I am the best athlete! Continue Reading

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Danny Manning to Wake Forest a DONE DEAL.

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You heard it here first, a source close to the program confirms that Danny Manning will be the next head coach at Wake Forest.

The deal is done, or close to it and will be announced soon.  There is some speculation that it may be a little while so he can tell his team first.

Stay tuned, more to come.

 

 

 

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One Sweet road trip: CHD heads to MSG for the Sweet 16

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What is the next best thing to watching your own team in the Sweet 16? Watching any other team play in the Sweet 16! If you had to pick your dream venue you could do a lot worse than Madison Square Garden, which hosted its first NCAA tourney games in more than 50 years. CHD’s Jon Teitel got to attend the East Regional games in person last Friday night and filed this report after recovering from a pair of great games that went down to the wire. Special thanks to Dove Men + Care for the ticket hook-up!

I hitched a ride to New York City from DC last Friday morning, checked into a midtown hotel, then walked to MSG for the best Big Apple doubleheader since the preseason NIT featuring Duke and Arizona last Thanksgiving weekend. I joined a huge crowd of people walking into the Garden, mostly UConn fans who were chanting for their team. My best sighting of the night was UConn legend Cliff Robinson walking into the arena about five people ahead of me: he was easy to spot because he was a foot taller than everyone else! The Husky faithful up in the 200 level remained standing the entire game and cheered loud enough to make it sound like a home game. My friends who ended up sitting behind the Huskies’ bench saw a bunch of A-list celebs up close and personal: Jim Calhoun, Chris Christie, Spike Lee, and Katie Couric (to name just a few). Continue Reading