The high school hoops trail led to Grimsley High School again on Tuesday evening and before we get to the inside on the Whirlies and the Smith Golden Eagles I want to say I wasÂ shocked to see the news on Tommy Zaliagiris in Tuesday’s N&R.
Zaliagiris was a member of the hated North Carolina Tar Heels back in the 70’s.Â He was coached by the man nobody could stand, Dean Smith.Â He was teammates with the guy we all wanted to kill Phil Ford.Â That’s the way it was back then for all of the anti-Tar Heel fans.Â Coach Smith was public enemy #1 and when his Heels would fail to win the National Championship those of wearing anything but Baby Blue, well we would jump high enough up in the air and we could probablyÂ touch the rim.Â Phil Ford was the most visible trouble-maker on the Heels because he was the point guard and he was out in front running the show.
But that was then and this is now.Â Now when I look back on those daysÂ of ABC and the only color I’m gonna wear is Blood Red, those days are all but gone.Â After the war is over you respect the troops from both sides and honor the fallen warriors.Â The war is over as far as I am concerned, and as I look back, the Tar Heels will be remembered with nothing but Respect by meÂ and those who share inÂ my Sports Shack.
I hated to hear we lost one of the key players in the basketballÂ Wars of the 70’s.Â That’s back when the ACC meant something and you had to win the tournamentÂ back in the days before they let everybody into the NCAA’s.Â Tommy Zaliagiris dead at age 50.Â Tommy Z. played in the glory daysÂ of the Atlantic Coast Conference.Â Cause of Zaliagiris’ deathÂ has not been confirmed and even though I never met the man I respect him because he was there and he fought in theÂ War called ACC Basketball.
Even though I hated the Heels back then I respect now after the War is over, andÂ you lookÂ back and realize how special those days were.Â I have no ill-regard for Coach Smith now, I respect the manÂ because he survived the Wars and now we can look back and honor the old general.Â The memories of those former soldiersÂ are good memories because they fought the good fight and gave us the bestÂ basketball days of our lives.
Today’s ACC is a joke.Â The new teams come in and over half of these guys are just nothing but football schools.Â Â Duke and North Carolina are the onlyÂ decent teams year-in,Â year-out and that’s a fact.Â I get tired of hearing all of the excuses for this league.Â Why even watch these bums?
Today’s fans don’t knowÂ anything about basketball.Â Bring backÂ Brad Hoffman, Steve Previs, George Karl, Walter Davis, Ed Stahl, Mitch Kupchak, Lee Dedmon, Bill Bunting, Dick Grubar, Tommy LaGarde, Rich Yonakor,Â Ged Doughton, John Kuester, Dave Colescott,Â Geoff Crompton, Charlie Scott, and bring back Tom Zaliagiris.Â Â Please don’t bring back PhilÂ Ford, I don’t think anybody could stop that man from running the four corners, even today.
Bring backÂ Tommy Zaliagiris so we can watch him run with the Heels agaisnt NC State one more time at the Greensboro Coliseum and we will watch it on a Saturday night on our home TV because the Coliseum is sold out and you couldn’t get in if you wanted to.Â Keep an eye on your newspaper and remember to visit your favorite web site greensborosports.com, because I have a sad feeling we will be seeingÂ more of this type of news in the near future, as the Real Stars of the ACC,Â from when it was can’t miss TV andÂ radio, these menÂ are going to be leaving us rapidly andÂ the memories will be mounting.Â
On the High School scene, I was atÂ the BOB(the Bob Sawyer Gym) on Tuesday and saw both the WhirlieGirls and boys roll over the Smith Golden Eagles.Â The WhirlieGirls,Â now at 21-1, are by far the area’s #1 girls team.Â They are much better than Bishop McGuiness, a Villian teamÂ that beat Dudley by 2 on Monday.Â Phil Weaver’s young ladies had balanced scoring to improve to 10-0 in the Metro with theÂ 71-33 win overÂ Smith.
The Grimsley boys got off to a terrific start running out to 14-5 first quarter lead and put away Smith 59-39.Â JB Beloved and MarlanÂ Smith led the Whirlies with 14 and 13 points andÂ on the boards Keith Manley and Christian Tonkins were ball hogs for aÂ good cause as they kept the Eagles off the glass and in a chase mode all night long.
I had the chance to meet and see some greensborosports.com followers including Marlan Smith Sr., Jim Gentry, Mike Leonard(father of Jonathan at Grimsley and Travis at Greensboro Day), Ben Derrick of Fitness Today at Quaker Village, John Swindle, Marlan Smith’s mom, sister, andÂ cousin, Christian Tonkins’ dad, and the Bus Driver.Â The Bus DriverÂ is probably the team’s biggest fan and she really gets into the game.Â The Bus Driver offers encouragement and tries to lift up the boys like Marlan Jr. and JB Beloved when they start dragging.Â The Bus Driver, she is the Lady that “TakesÂ these Kids toÂ School”.
I was was very happy for WakeÂ Forest when they finally gotÂ another ACC win last night, over Georgia Tech.Â Glad to see the league underdog get a win(85-75).Â I support these guys because Kevin Swinton played at Dudley and Mike DrumÂ played at North Forsyth and I broadcast their games back when they were in high school.Â As for coach Skip Prosser, I got a tip for you buddy.Â Play Kevin Swinton, he’s as good as anybody on your squad.Â He only saw 7 minutes of action versus Tech and if you don’t play him,Â he is going to transfer.Â I got the word Monday night fromÂ a guy that works with Swinton’s dad.Â Â Â