Freeman Cebu Sports


SPORT EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo - The Freeman

The last few months of 2015 were bad for the music world.  We lost Natalie Cole, Micheal White of Earth Wind And Fire,  Glen Frey of the  Eagles and David Bowie.  This year we also lost Prince and only last week, John  Berry of the Beastie Boys.  What about in sports? Well, last year alone we lost a lot of basketball stars and coaches. 

•Dean Smith, 83, was North  Carolina’s most famous coach. Smith led the Tar Heels to National titles in 1982 and 1993. 

•Jerry Tarkanian, 84, also known as Tark The Shark and was one of the NCAA best  coaches.  He coached the Las Vegas  Runnin Rebels who beat the rated Duke Blue Devils in the 1989-90 season.

•Neal Walk,  67, the only player to have  his Jersey retired by Florida.  Walk was  drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 1969 after they lost a coin toss  for the top pick,  Lew Alcindor ( Kareem Abdul Jabbar).  After undergoing surgery for a spinal tumor in 1987, he kept on playing.  In 1990, President Bush named him “Wheelchair Athlete of the Year.”

•Jerome Kersey, 52, the 6’7” forward of the Portland Trailblazers, finished second  to Michael Jordan in the 1987 Slam Dunk contest.  He played 11 seasons for the Blazers and in 1988 averaged 19.2 points per game.

•Bevo Francis, 82,  the 6’9” center onced scored 116 points for tiny Rio Grande (Ohio) College  in a 1953  game.  After touring with the Harlem Globetrotters, he turned down an NBA offer and worked in a mill near his home in Ohio.

•Marques Haynes, 89, growing poor in Tulsa, did’nt have a basketball, so he learned to  dribble with a tennis ball. Haynes was undoubtedly the best dribbler in the world who was able to pat the ball three times a second.  He was a pro for 46 years, 13 of them as a Harlem Globetrotter and in 1988 became the first Globe to make the Hall of Fame.

•Roy Tarplay, 50, the 6’11” power forward, of the Dallas Mavericks became the 1988 Sixth Man of the Year.  He never again played a full season because of injuries and addiction.  In 1995, the NBA  banned him for violating the terms of his rehab program.

•Dolph Schayes, 87, was the first player in NBA history to reach the 15,000 points plateau.  The Syracuse Nationals center was a 12-time All Star.  Syracuse players are now known as the Philadelphia Sixers.

•Darryl Dawkins, 58, the  6’11” center was known for his backboard-shattered dunks.  His outlandish personality prompted Stevie Wonder to call him Chocolate Thunder which became his nickname.

•Moses Malone, 60, played for the Utah Stars in the defunct ABA.  In the NBA, Malone led Houston to the finals in 1981 and was MVP in 1982.  The following year, he moved to Philadelphia  where he helped the Sixers won the championship, his only NBA  title. Malone was a 12-time All Star and led the NBA in rebounding five times.

•Flip Saunders, 60, an amateur magician, he led the previously mobibund Timberwolves to eight straight playoff berths. 

•Mel Daniels, 71, was the American Basketball Association  (ABA) All-Time leading  rebounder and also won two MVPs and led the Indiana Pacers to three titles.

•John Williams, 53, nicknamed “Hot  Rod” was one of Cleveland’s power-forward averaging 16.8 points per game in 1990.

•Dave Meyers, 62, led UCLA to the 1975 NCAA  title. The 6’8” forward nicknamed “The  Spider” was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers only to be dealth to the Milwaukee  Bucks for Kareem Abdul Jabbar.  More sports personalities  who went to the Great Beyond next column.


I took a quick trip to Iloilo City to finalize an  Elvisaya  concert in September.  Also dropped by at  the Iloilo City Hall to congratulate friends who won in the last election.  Sports officer Jojo Castro informed me they are excited as the Milo Marathon National Finals will be held in Iloilo.  Also started rehearsing for that Iloilo gig at  Perfect Pitch in SM City with keyboard artist Dan Garganera.

Did you know?

Country music icon Kenny Rogers, 78, will be coming to the Philippines in August this year for his last “World Tour.”  Kenny had knee replacement in 2014 and four back surgeries a year before that.

• SP Edward Gando won as vice gonernor for Guimaras Province. Now they have to call him Vice Ganda este.. Vice Gando.

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