~ Jerry West
It is going to take a little while for me to get used to the transition from football to other sports. No hockey for until after Christmas so I will need to focus on basketball.
In keeping with the "ice" theme - We play the
Hurons Eagles of Eastern Michigan University today on the Big Ten Network. I don't know much about them except they are 3-6, with wins over Alma, Marygrove, and Wayne State. I am not completely on the Michigan basketball bandwagon yet, so I am praying we don't lose to these guys. I can't take another loss to a MAC team this year.
Of course Eastern is the former school for Detroit native and NBA/ABA great George "Iceman" Gervin. As I was looking at the EMU basketball web page, I could not help but notice that Gervin is going to be awarded an honorary degree on the 20th. Considering he is the best athlete in the history of the school, it is about time.
If you don't know the story Gervin was an All American and led Eastern to the Final Four of the NCAA Small College Division in 1972. During the semi finals Gervin slugged a Roanoke College player named Jay Piccola (who is now the president of Puma America). Gervin had never before hit a player in anger during a game. The results were disastrous. Eastern Michigan Coach Jim Dutcher resigned and eventually became the head coach at Minnesota. Gervin was suspended for the following season and eventually was kicked off the team. His invitation to try out for the Olympic was withdrawn. After leaving EMU Gervin played minor league professional basketball until he hooked up with the ABA's Virginia Squires. He became a star with San Antonio Spurs and was a voted to the NBA's 50th anniversary All-Time team. He is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
He was one of my favorite players as a kid and represents in my mind all that was fun and right with the NBA in the 1970s.