Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Big Dog Back in HIS House

John Dzik made his triumphant return Saturday to the Nerney Field House in the Dixon Sports and Recreation Center on the beautiful campus of Cabrini College. Dozens of Dzik’s former players packed the house as the annual Alumni Basketball Game returned to Cabrini after a one year exile to visit our friends at Eastern College.

Coach Keeley’s squad was up big at halftime and survived a late run by Coach Kelly’s squad to hang on for the victory. Notes on the game are that no one had a heart attack, Johnny Drummond can still play and Kris Pittman can still handle. Tommy Newnam, though, needed oxygen after about 2 minutes. Photos are up on my Flickr site. And at Kelly Gallagher’s site.

Following the game, the current squad of Cavs, led by former Allentown player Matt Maccocia, continued their winless PAC campaign, falling to 1-14 on the year. On the bright side, they played furiously in the second half and lost by only one to Neumann 74-73.

It was good to be back in the building where we won so many games over the years. Try as I might though, I was still unable to put the pointless firing of a man who won 487 games behind me. He deserved better then and the program deserves better than 1-14 now.

Special thanks on putting the day together go to Coach John Mack, SID Extraordinaire Rich Shepis, “Schmoo” Steve Harrow and Cabrini’s Director of Basketball Operations and Former Dzik Player, Billy Leahy.

The afterparty at J.D. McGillicuddy’s in Ardmore with Cabrini soccer great Bill DiRita behind the bar was a wonderful chance to enjoy each other’s company. Nearly 200 turned out for what has become a great tradition of fellowship.

As cavsalumni.com notes, one of our all-time greats, Marty Clancy, was unable to join us, as he passed away in December. I was with Coach Dzik in Georgia the day after he learned of Marty’s passing. I can tell you that there have not been many times I saw him as reflective and saddened as he was then. Marty was a great guy and would give you the shirt off his back. He will be missed.

I’ll never forgive Toni Iadarola and crew for what she did to these people, this program and the future of Cabrini Athletics. At least that night we all got to remember how good it used to be and forget about the travesty of the present.

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