SportsProf

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Princeton Basketball Connections

This guy coached his team to the European championship last season and now is in talks to coach a top-flight Italian team. He played alongside this guy, who is an assistant coach at Northwestern, a future DI head coach, and the brother-in-law of Illinois Senator Barack Obama, who will be a contender for President of the U.S. some day. They also played with this guy, who now helps run the Knicks, and were on campus when this guy rowed crew, although it is perhaps unlikely that they crossed paths. Maybe they should have, because this guy owns the Celtics, and then there's this guy, who's president of the Mavericks, who was a classmate with the first guy and the third guy I mention in this paragraph. Clear so far?

The hoopsters, of course, were coached by this guy, whose former player, this guy, is now the president of the Kings. While the first guy in this paragraph didn't coach this guy when this guy was at Princeton, he and the second guy (both of the Kings) helped this guy get a nice baseball contract. How? Well, the multi-sport player in question was vacillating between baseball and basketball this past off-season, and the coach and front-office guy worked the kid out and liked what they saw -- and offered him a guaranteed NBA contract. Which then compelled the kid's Major League Baseball team to counter -- and the kid to make a decision about which sport to play professionally in the future (as the chance to be another Dave DeBusschere or Gene Conley are long gone). The kid chose baseball, and thus far it's turned out to be a wise decision. The kid's among the favorites to be his league's rookie of the year. I watched him pitch on national TV the other night, and he was lights out.

Then there's this guy, who, at 47, not only is a successful money manager but still plays competitive basketball in three-on-three tournaments, and he chooses his teammates carefully (among them is Kit Mueller, one of the best players in Princeton history). The money manager extraordinaire was a year ahead of the guy who now coaches in Europe and the guys who help run the Knicks and Mavericks.

I could go one for a while with this chain, and Princeton basketball fans know it pretty well. The message out there, if there is one, is that a) Princeton basketball players are well-connected, b) many Princeton basketball players have a real passion for the game that extends beyond college, c) Princetonians who didn't play basketball on campus like it enough to get involved in it afterwards, d) Princetonians are good at getting connected, period, and e) many kids who were born in 1959, graduated high school in '77 and college in '81 have done a nice job since that time.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the opportunity to see Chris Young pitch at Citizens Bank Park (from the second row behind home plate) last week. I was very impressed with his command. He gave up five singles in 5 1/3 innings. His pitching stamina is still developing I guess, but he is quite an imposing sight on the mound.

As a Princeton and Phillies fan it was a perfect result -- a good outing for Young and a Phils victory.

He's doing very well so far for Texas, and here's hoping that it will continue when the AL sees him the second time around the league. Having Orel Hershiser as hos pitching coach can't hurt.

TIGOBLUE

8:50 AM  
Anonymous TigerSoccer said...

Regarding points (d) and (e), a similar phenomenon is beginning to evolve in Major League Soccer. Check out Bob Bradley, his son Michael Bradley, Jesse Marsch, Matt Behnke and then throw in Charlie Stillitano, Andrew Lewis, Chris Unger, Joe Thieman, Mike Nugent, and Dave Vaudreill. (And don't forget Bob's brother Jeff Bradley.)

2:52 PM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Thanks, TigerSoccer. It would be great if you could tell us who these folks are in a response e-mail or send me an e-mail at sportsprof@comcast.net and let me know, and I'll post it.

We also can't forget that Bob Bradley's brother, Scott, is the Princeton baseball coach, that former Princeton football player, Mark Shapiro, is the GM of the Indians, that former Princeton hoopster Larry Lucchino is the president of the Red Sox, etc. Seems like there's a lot of six degrees of separation going on here.

3:06 PM  
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