By Steev Riccardo
What happened last Friday in the NCCA Basketball Tournament was truly amazing. You could not have imagined that two 15-seeded teams would beat two of the best two-seeded teams in the country, but it happened.
Shortly after Norfolk State did the unthinkable and knocked off Missouri, who at times this season were ranked as high as second in the country, Lehigh University did the same thing and beat a very good Duke team.
If you play the brackets, chances are you are among the thousands who saw their dreams of winning flushed down the toilet. Still from a sports perspective, this was a truly magical night, unrivaled by any other first round in the NCAA tournament.
Speaking of bracketology, yours truly is still alive on Sunday morning, having taken the easy and predictable road for a change with Kentucky (eventually winner), Syracuse, Michigan State, and North Carolina going to the final four.
Don Cushing: While working on a story at St. Joseph’s School last week, I spent some time talking to with the great Don Cushing, who among many great feats, still holds the Bartlett High School record for most wins as the boys’ basketball coach.
“Cuffy” told me a bunch of good stories, as he usually does, one of which was how when he met University of Connecticut girls’ basketball coach Geno Auriemma and told him how he taught former Oxford basketball star Carla Berube to shoot. Of course, Geno found this quite amusing. He wasn’t really kidding, though, as Berube had attended one of Cushing’s very successful Bartlett Summer basketball camps while she was at Oxford High School, as did just about every kid that played basketball in the area.
Tourtellotte Basketball Camp: Speaking of summer basketball camps, Cushing co-directs the Tourtellotte Instructional Basketball Camp at the high school in North Grovendale with Gary Donahue every summer. This year’s camp, in its ninth year, will take place from Monday, July 9 to Friday, July 13, and is for boys and girls from 7-17. For additional information please call Cushing at 508-943-8959.
Spring Sports: This past Monday spring sports were scheduled to start tryouts and practices at the local high schools. Looks like the weather is going to be good and that should make for a fun week on the fields, tracks, and courts.
Tyler Mandeville: Being both a big music fan and a sports fan, it will be interesting to see if the two can mash together successfully at Bartlett High School this spring. Word around the school is that few kids can throw a baseball harder than Tyler Mandeville. Well, we haven’t seen him pitch yet, but we can tell you this, the kid is a great musician and is one of the finest bass players in the area. We are hoping that Mandeville delivers the goods on the baseball diamond because we love the crossover!
Some inspiration for Mandeville is knowing that there have been baseball players who have played music in the past, some are pretty well known in fact. Pitcher “Black” Jack McDowell has a bunch of records out with his band Stickfigure and locally former Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo was known to show up at clubs in Boston and jam on a regular basis.
One of my favorite baseball/music guys is former major league reliever Scott Radinsky, who pitched for several teams, including the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Radinsky was the singer for the west coast punk band Scared Straight, who later changed its name to Ten Foot Pole. Somehow he managed to maintain both careers for some time and once leaving baseball resumed his music career with Pulley, who toured as an opening act for Green Day.
So there you have it, Mr. Mandeville, its been done before, and here’s hoping for the sake of rockers like myself that you can pull it off this season because we love the crossover!
Photos coming: CAPTIONS: 1.Don Cushing and Gary Donahue, Toutellotte Camp Directors
2. Tyler Mandeville: Bass-Ball Player?
- Wednesday, 21 March 2012
- Posted in Categories: : View from the Sidelines