Great Video Example of a Chain Reaction of Kindness -
Thank you to my old college buddy, Kevin Blackhurst, for sharing this brilliant video that wonderfully illustrates the chain reaction of kindness.
……all of those small college teams that made it all the way to the National Championship game. Here’s a list of all of the Small College Basketball National Championship games, with scores and National Champions.
NCAA Division II
Drury defeated Metro State, 74-73
NCAA Division III
Amherst defeated Mary Hardin-Baylor, 87-70
NAIA Division I
Georgetown defeated Southwest Assemblies of God, 88-62
NAIA Division II
Cardinal Stritch defeated William Penn, 73-59.
NCCAA Division I
Shorter defeated Oklahoma Christian, 90-87 in OT.
NCCAA Division II
Ohio Christian defeated Arlington Baptist, 73-62.
USCAA Division I
Warren Wilson defeated Penn State Fayette, 76-68.
USCAA Division II
Rochester defeated Daemen, 70-67.
Congratulations to the 2013 Small College Basketball National Champions: Drury, Amherst, Georgetown, Cardinal Stritch, Shorter, Ohio Christian, Warren Wilson & Rochester!
I just got the first lump in my throat from the 2013 basketball postseason.
Let me first mention that I am an alum of the University of Delaware. I’m a Blue Hen. As such, I have a decent understanding of what that school, and the athletic success, means to the school, the community and the whole state. There is tremendous pride among the Blue Hen family.
As such, Elena Delle Donne grew up in Delaware and became a high school star at Ursuline Academy in Wilmington. She scored 50 points in the state championship game as a sophomore. She became the nation’s #1 recruit and the most highly-publicized women’s basketball player the state has ever had. While she grew from a girl to a woman, she became a star and a media darling…..but she remained humble, and she remained extremely close with her family.
Yes, there was the situation where she went to UCONN for a few days, and came home. It’s well documented. It’s also well documented that she was extremely close with her sister, Lizy, who is severely disabled and blind. So she came home.
To fast forward, she enrolled at the University of Delware, not sure if she’s ever play basketball again. She tried volleyball, and was named First Team All Conference as a freshman. Then she went to Coach Tina Martin, and she regained her passion for the game of basketball. Today, every Blue Hen fan is awfully glad that she rekindled her passion.
…….last weekend was the last game Elena would ever play in the Bob Carpenter Center, the beautiful arena that was built —- after I graduated. It turned out to be the most memorable game that the women’s basketball team has ever played. In front of a live ESPN audience, Elena scored 33 points to win the second round NCAA Tournament game against North Carolina (after she had scored 33 points in the win - at home - against West Virginia), which sent Delaware to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. During that game, she surpassed 3,000 career points.
Today, she and her teammates fought against a very talented Kentucky team, brought the Wildcats 16-point lead all the way down to 2 (62-60) with a few minutes left in the game. In the end, it wasn’t meant to be for Elena and her Blue Hen teammates. She finished with 33 points again. Today, she passed Cheryl Miller (USC) and Chamique Holdsclaw (Tennessee) on the all-time NCAA scoring list for women’s basketball. But in the end, Kentucky defeated Delaware, thus ending the spectacular career for Elena Delle Donne at the University of Delaware.
Back to the lump in my throat: With a few seconds left in the game, Coach Tina Martin took Elena out so that she could receive an ovation. As she walked towards her bench, I stood in my family room, all alone, and gave a standing ovation, just as they did throughout the arena. As she hugged her coach and her teammates, I just stared at the television, with the meaning and emotion of the moment taking over.
It’s hard to explain what Elena Delle Donne has meant to the program, to the school and to the state. I just know that I’m sure glad that she came home.
Thank you, Elena, for the memories.
The NCAA Division II Tournament is now down to the semi-finals. Tomorrow (Saturday) it will be West Liberty State vs. Metro State at noon, followed by Western Washington vs. Drury at 2:30. The games will be played in Freedom Hall in Louisville and the National Championship game will be played in Atlanta as part of the 75th Anniversary celebration (of NCAA Basketball National Championships).
The NCAA Division III Tournament is down to the National Championship game, which will feature Mary Hardin-Baylor vs. Amherst. This game, too, will be played in Atlanta as part of the NCAA’s 75th Anniversary celebration.
The NCAA Division III National Championship game will be played at noon, followed by the NCAA Division II National Championship game at 4:00 p.m. Both games will be played at Phillips Arena in Atlanta, and admission is free.
I realize that this has little to do with Small College Basketball, but just wanted to drop a note about a book that I just finished last night, One on One, by John Feinstein.
As many of you are aware, Feinstein is among America’s most renowned sportswriters. This book was an easy and enjoyable read, recapping the 25 years of his sports journeys since his inaugural book, Season on the Brink, was written. That book, of course, became a New York Times #1 best seller and put him on the national map in terms of sports book authors. He’s written about 20 books since that time, and One on One is a lengthy book (over 500 pages, before the Epilogue) that jumps from his personal journeys through college basketball, through professional tennis, through professional golf and more.
Most of the book was just Feinstein recounting stories and giving opinions…..yet he clearly has had the opportunity to interact with some of sports’ greatest figures. Just an enjoyable and easy read. It takes you behind the scenes and gives a glimpse of these sports figures in a light that you may not otherwise see/hear/read.
I’m glad that I read the Epilogue, as the end was great.
Spoiler alert: I’m going to write the very end of the book here, as I just really enjoyed it…..If you don’t want to learn the last few paragraphs, stop reading….but it’s writing like this that reminds me of why he is among the elite sportswriters in America.
Here it goes, and man, this is great! (although it’s even better when you read the book and take it within the greater context):
“A couple of days after Christina’s death, I talked to Derek on the phone. He was, as you would expect, in hell.
‘Marrying her was the best thing I ever did in my life,’ he said. ‘What people don’t understand is that she had a fatal disease. It killed her the way cancer kills people. It just happeded differently, with the suddenness of a car accident. I’ve loved her since I was sixteen.’
‘And she loved you back,’ I said, knowing after all those years that it was true.
The next day Derek sent me an e-mail, basically thanking me for calling. The last line of the e-mail came straight from the John Dryden quote that hung over the door to the Army football locker room.
‘I lay me down for to bleed a while but I will rise to fight with you again.’
I read that line over and over again, crying ——- just as I’m crying right now. And then I thought, as I am thinking right now, how very damn lucky I have been to have known the people I have known over the past 25 years.”