Thursday, March 31, 2005

Hoops: Coach Hewitt reaching out...

One of the smalll things that makes a guy like Paul Hewitt stand out as more than just Coach bent on winning at all cost. Not that we ever thought that - but just more proof.....

This is the story of Memphis freshman Darius Washington. You probably all saw the missed free throw with no time on the clock:

Washington stood alone at the line with no time remaining in the Conference USA Tournament championship, and had three free throws to shoot. Memphis trailed Louisville by two points and needed to win to claim an automatic bid to get into the NCAAs.

Washington made the first free throw. One more would get Memphis into overtime, two would complete a shocking four-day run to the tournament championship after the Tigers closed the regular season with four straight losses.

Shot No. 2 clanged off the rim, stunning the youngster and shaking his confidence. He missed the third, too, and crumpled to the court--covering his face in despair.

Final score: Louisville 75, Memphis 74, and no bid to the NCAA tourney..... on to the NIT.

Well, a small show of the character of the man:

What Washington found wasn't gloom and doom, but support.

And it didn't stop there. Calls and letters flooded in from Temple's John Chaney and Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt. NBA figures such as Vince Carter, Isiah Thomas and cousin Chucky Atkins also checked in with support for Washington, a McDonald's high school All-American.

No matter what you say about the wins and losses, we have a stable of high-character people running our sports programs.