Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Three Stars

     Hockey has a wonderful tradition called the "three stars".    It honors the three best players in each game as chosen by a third party, usually sports writers.  In keeping with this honored tradition, I have chosen three individuals who have caught my attention and deserve recognition for their recent and past efforts.  

My 3rd star goes to Bo Jackson
      His bicycle ride to raise money for the devastation caused by the tornadoes in Alabama is something to be admired.  The 300 mile ride hoped to raise $500,000 to donate to the governor's relief fund.  The final tally, $410,000!  It is refreshing to hear about an athlete giving back instead of taking away.

My 2nd star goes to Coach Dick Harter
     All Oregon hoops fans are saddened to say good bye to Coach Harter, passing away in March.  Orchestrator of the Kamikaze Kids, his idea of practice fun was loose ball drill until somebody needed stitches and defensive shuffles with bricks in the player's hands.   He was a tough one, but he gave us some of the most historical moments at Mac Court.   His teams were revered by the student body and inspired characters such as the Lone Ranger (Kenny Hoiland) to incite the crowd into such a frenzy that the scoreboard above the floor would bounce from the incredible fan noise.   The play of the Kamikaze Kids even turned my Dad into a basketball fan (he loved their style of play - reminded him of a hockey game).  Our fan base was so raucous that it prompted UCLA coach Gene Bartow to tab us as "deranged idiots", a moniker we quickly embraced.  Thanks Coach Harter for some great Mac Memories!

My 1st star goes to Oregon Baseball player Kevin Shepherd.  
     He was told he wouldn't get much playing time and that perhaps he should look into another program, but he wanted to be a Duck.   Watching and waiting, when J.J. Altobelli went down with a shoulder injury - he got his chance.   He was stellar in the field, making the hard plays look easy.  He hung in there and got his chance, helping the Ducks climb to a #6 ranking.   Here is a guy who put the team first and was willing to help in what ever way he could.   Truly a great team player, he obviously will be a success in the future with this kind of attitude.

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