Tag Archives: Golden State Warriors

Interview With Lorenzo Romar

Lorenzo Romar

Interview Conducted 10/27/2008

Robert Beck/SI

Robert Beck/SI

Lorenzo Romar, entering his seventh season as head coach of the Washington Huskies, has been able to influence many lives through the game of basketball, whether it be through sports ministry or coaching.

Romar and his family grew up in Compton, California, one of the most dangerous cities in America. Street gangs, violent crime, and abject poverty are all prevalent.

Romar and his brother Wayne were able to avoid the allure of street life for teens growing up in Compton.

ROMAR: “Between my parents and sports, those two things kept me from getting involved in anything like that. We just wouldn’t come home if we did something dumb and our parents found out about it. It wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience.”

“Our sports meant too much to my brother and I to get involved in anything that was going to take away from us or not allow us to be as good as we can be.”

Romar received a basketball scholarship to two-year Cerritos College. Wayne signed to play basketball with Sterling College, an NAIA school in Kansas. Continue reading

Interview With Cazzie Russell

Cazzie Russell

Interview Conducted 10/21/2008

Bentley Historical Library

Bentley Historical Library

Few athletes can lay claim to having an arena or stadium affectionately named in their honor. Cazzie Russell is one of them.

A legendary basketball prodigy from Chicago’s Southside, Russell arrived onto the city’s basketball scene when he led Carver High School’s Junior Varsity program to the Chicago city JV Title in 1960.

By his senior year, Russell paced Carver High School to the Chicago city title in 1962, averaging over 25 points a game.

As one of the most coveted senior prospects in the country, Russell received offers from over 50 college basketball programs. He narrowed his choices to UCLA, Marquette, Cincinnati, and Michigan.

Cincinnati sent Oscar Robertson, by then an NBA star with the Cincinnati Royals, to Carver High School to visit with Russell.

RUSSELL: “I had a tough decision because Oscar Robertson came to my high school. I idolized the way he played of course because we were the same size.”

Russell visited Michigan in the spring and developed a friendship with his tour guide, freshman Bill Buntin.

RUSSELL: “I was comfortable with Bill Buntin who was my host. As a young player coming out of high school, it was important to feel comfortable with [another] guy being from a predominantly black area.”

Russell ultimately chose Michigan because the basketball program was in a rebuilding stage.

RUSSELL: “It was basically a football school, so there probably wouldn’t be a lot of pressure. That was one of my major decisions.”

Russell led Michigan to three Big 10 titles, averaging 27.1 points per game in his career. He was a three-time AP All American. Continue reading