When I moved to Fresno in 1995 to become part of incoming coach Jerry Tarkanian’s staff, one of the first guys I met was Dave Severns. Dave was a longtime high school coach who, a few years earlier, had come to the conclusion he enjoyed working individually with players to improve their skills more than he did being a head coach. By the time I met him, he’d worked with many of the nation’s best high school and college players at the Nike All-American camps and had been spending a good portion of his summers under the employ of Tim Grover (Michael Jordan’s personal individual trainer).
Early on we discovered our philosophies of basketball and life were closely aligned. (For a closer look at his background, check out the “Categories” column to the right of my blogs and you’ll see his name mentioned in several of them, all the way back to 11/4/08). In addition, I’m close to his three kids as he is with our two boys. He’d occasionally watch Andy play in high school and, when he began a small business (while he was still a high school teacher) of working with young players to improve their skills, Alex was one of his first pupils. Throughout Alex’s career, Dave would often catch his games and, even now, tries to get to at least one of his college games with Cal State Monterey Bay – even though his current job as director of player development for the Los Angeles Clippers keeps him plenty busy during basketball season.
Currently, Dave’s younger daughter, Hailey, is a junior at Clovis North HS and is, quite the thespian. If there’s a play at CNHS, Hailey will not only be a member of the cast, but will have one of the leading roles. Naturally, I want to support her as Dave did with our guys. Last night pushed my loyalty near its limit. Early in the month, he mentioned Hailey was one of the members in the cast of the play The Diary of Anne Frank and the showtimes were evenings on Thursday-Saturday, March 19-21 & 26-28, with a matinee as well each Saturday.
Since we were in Myrtle Beach the first weekend, I told him Jane and I would be attending one of the March 26-28 performances. After we returned from South Carolina, we had to decide which show to attend. At about that time, I realized every one of the shows – including the Saturday matinee (because we’re on west coast time) – coincided with the NCAA tournament games.
A decision had to be made and I picked last night. Jane and I watched the Wisconsin-Arizona game and the first half of Kentucky-Notre Dame. Then, with the game tied at halftime, and one of the greatest upsets of all time hanging in the balance, we had to leave to get to the theater on campus by 7:00. Of course, cell phones are prohibited during performances – and there’s no way I’d try to sneak peeks because, as little as I know about technology, my phone would be the one that would disrupt the performance (with Dave, his wife and her parents all in attendance).
Finally, at the intermission I checked and found out the ‘Cats won by two, with Jerian Grant misfiring on a three at the buzzer to win it. After we personally congratulated Hailey on her well-deserved, superb performance, we left campus and returned home. I scrolled the TV listings and then:
watched the second half of the UK-ND contest, all the while knowing how it as going to end.
Following the (anti-climactic) conclusion, I posted this blog – and headed off to sleep.