Congratulations are in order for Omaha's latest hall of famer.
After all these years, Bob Boozer got the nod on Monday. Boozer made the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the renowned 1960 U.S. Olympic basketball team, which was part of the 2010 Hall of Fame class announced Monday in Indianapolis.
Question: Is Boozer the first (and only) native Nebraskan to make the basketball hall of fame? He joins pal Bob Gibson and Gale Sayers as Omahans in major sports halls of fame
It's more than appropriate that Boozer goes in as part of this team. The Omaha Tech star was a two-time All-American at Kansas State (1958-59), a first-round draft pick (Cincinnati), an NBA All-Star (1968) and won an NBA championship with Milwaukee in 1971, the final year of his 11-year NBA career. But Boozer seemed to take greatest pride in his Olympic gold medal and loved to tell stories about the famous team.
That 1960 squad, which included Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas and Walt Bellamy, was called the greatest team ever assembled until Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and the other pros were allowed to play in 1992. That 1960 team was the first “Dream Team'' with all amateurs. Led by coach Pete Newell, the U.S. went 8-0 with a margin of victory of 42.4 points. No doubt the hall of fame voters took that into consideration as they voted in both “Dream Teams,'' 1960 and 1992, on Monday. They couldn't induct one without the other.
Boozer was unavailable for comment Monday. I'm sure I'll be hearing from him soon. I can't wait to hear his reaction.
No matter what happens this week, Tiger Woods has already had a great Masters.
Woods was the winner after a 36-minute press conference Monday at Augusta National that was somewhat stunning in that Tiger didn't just answer questions about azaleas and how he's hitting his long irons.
No, he didn't tell us why he was in rehab or what happened that night in November, but I can live with that being his private business. He handled the inquiries about the HGH doctor, prescription drugs, blood-spinning, like they were five-footers for par.
He showed some humility. The bit about how you live your life being more important than championships will go a long way toward winning back some fans. Now, it's up to Tiger to back that up, and he'll have more than enough helpful sorts watching to make sure he does.
Students, this was another example of Public Relations 101. Take the hits all at once and move on. Why didn't Tiger do it before? Who knows? But now it's over and everyone will move on, except perhaps a mistress or two who crave a headline; but eventually even TMZ.com will tire of them. And yes, it's time to move on. This is a matter between Tiger and his family. The rest of the world can now contemplate whether he's still Tiger enough to obtain the Holy Grail of golf, Jack Nicklaus' 18 major championships.
It says here he will, but not necessarily this week. Winning the Masters is about dialed-in irons, but mostly it's about putting. It's too much to expect Woods to shake the rust off his nerves the first time out. Advantage, “the field.'' By the way, in Tiger's career majors, the “field'' leads, 42-14. I like the field again. More specifically, I like Fred Couples to win a second green jacket. Yes, THAT Fred Couples. He's playing well and Augusta National is a place that rewards former winners who still have game.
Count at least one Nebraskan in on the “Welcome Back Tiger'' club. Connie Mickey, of Columbus, Neb., was quoted in an espn.com story on Monday after having a short conversation on the second hole of his practice round. Mickey said, “Good to see you, Tiger.” The story said Woods made eye contact with Mickey and said, “Thank you.''
I hope Mickey wasn't supposed to be at work or something Monday. You've been found out, Connie. Have a great week.
Say what you want about the Bowl Championship Series, but if the NCAA ran a college football playoff, would it not expand it at every opportunity? (Feel free to answer “yes.'') Interestingly, a lot of experts who think the 96-team format will ruin the basketball tournament also say it will promote and strengthen more mid-majors like Butler and Northern Iowa and thus, there will be more Final Four fields that include mid-majors. That's a reason why the good ol' boys who run college football won't let a playoff happen. If you are a Nebraska football fan, that's not a bad thing.
I can't recall there being less buzz about a Creighton-Nebraska baseball game, which takes place Tuesday night at Haymarket Park. For good reason. According to warrennolan.com, NU's RPI is 68 while the Jays are ranked 100th. Remember when these programs were competing for conference championships and NCAA regionals?
Taylor Martinez, the swift and athletic quarterback, has been the talk of NU spring football drills. Shawn Watson says there is too much intrigue to move Martinez from quarterback to another position. If I were a betting man, I'd say Martinez ends up as a “slash'' position guy, lining up at quarterback to run out of the shotgun or splitting wide or in the slot at receiver or maybe even someone who could run a reverse. A guy with few touches, but touches that change games.
There needs to be a way to honor the legacy of Jack Diesing Sr. Yes, the NCAA named the MVP award of the College World Series after Diesing. But, here in Omaha, the memory of Diesing, the MVP of the CWS in Omaha, should be preserved. If there are any suggestions, I'm all ears. One reader offered that if Mike Fahey has a street named after him, so should Diesing. I'm not sure a street does Diesing justice. He might need a building, or a stadium, named after him. Hmm. How about a “field?''
Texas media and fans are never shy when it comes to talking up the Longhorns, but they are especially ga-ga over quarterback Garrett Gilbert's spring. Some say the team won't miss a beat without Colt McCoy. We'll see. Gilbert looked poised off the bench in the BCS title game, but receiver Jordan Shipley bailed him out a few times and Shipley's gone. Texas apparently will put Gilbert under center in an effort to bolster the run game and make life easier for the new quarterback. He better bring some ear plugs to Lincoln next fall. How soon before Oct. 16 gets here?
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