Gus Alfieri writes his own stuff. This is no small accomplishment for any athlete, any coach, any public figure, who decides to put out a book.
Alfieri won championships as a player and a coach; now he is being honored with the Lapchick Character Award on Thursday in New York. After writing a biography of his mentor, Joe Lapchick, the coach of the Knicks and St. John’s University, Alfieri helped originate the Lapchick Character Award Foundation to honor coaches who demonstrate the good side of sports.
In a world of award ceremonies, this annual November luncheon is special. It comes up Thursday at 11:30 AM at the Wyndham New Yorker, catty-corner to Madison Square Garden, hours before the 2K Classic, benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project Coaches for Cancer doubleheader.
This is probably the most equitable awards event in any sport. No women are being honored this year but since the first luncheon in 2008 the Lapchick Award has gone to pioneers of women’s basketball -- Pat Summitt of Tennessee and Kay Yow of North Carolina State among others. In 2012 I loved hearing Cathy Rush, who won three national titles with tiny Immaculata in the 1970’s, telling stories about the low budgets, the buses and dicey flight connections, the recruiting.
Bootstrappers have great tales to tell. One of the best was Clarence (Big House) Gaines from Winston-Salem State, who died in 2005. His protégé, Earl Monroe will talk about him on Thursday. Another recipient will be John Kresse, who played for Lou Carnesecca at St. John’s and led the College of Charleston into Division I and the NCAA tournament.
Alfieri will be honored by his associates in the Lapchick Foundation, a no-brainer, considering this award was his idea. He is the epitome of the student-athlete that all sports schools like to envision. He played for Lapchick, helped win the National Invitation Tournament in his senior year – and kept going, right through a Ph. D. and a long run as coach of St. Anthony’s in Huntington Station, N.Y.
Later, Alfieri wrote “Lapchick: The Life of a Legendary Player and Coach in the Glory Days of Basketball,” published in 2006. Like any responsible author, Alfieri included the complex parts but also pointed out how Lapchick came to warn younger players about gambling after being burned by two teammates of Alfieri, and how Lapchick was a pioneer in race relations as a player, hugging his African-American opponent before every barnstorming game.
Alfieri is completing his next book, “Once in a Lifetime: A Basketball Coach’s Memoir of a Championship Team,” about his St. Anthony’s team that dominated New York State in the 1970’s.
For information: http://www.characteraward.com/
(Why We Still Hunker)
“….this is really an old person’s disease now. That was true at the beginning of the outbreak, but it’s becoming even more true now. It’s quite possible that we’ll see increasing relative vulnerability among the old, which is to say people who are in middle age are going to feel pretty safe living a totally normal life. But people of their parents’ generation may not ever. That’s because they have a much harder time building up immunity, which means they lose the benefits of the vaccines and previous exposure much more quickly.
---Jonathan Wolfe, The New York Times, daily Coronavirus Briefing, Aug. 3, 2022
Should Donald Trump Be Prosecuted?
Rep. Liz Cheney, on ABC TV:
“Ultimately, the Justice Department will decide that. I think we may well as a committee have a view on that and if you just think about it from the perspective of what kind of man knows that a mob is armed and sends the mob to attack the Capitol and further incites that mob when his own vice president is under threat, when the Congress is under threat. It's just -- it’s very chilling and I think certainly we will, you know, continue to present to the American people what we found.”