Posts for La Salle Category

Mr. All-Around: A Review of the Tom Gola Biography

Tim Reilly - November 28, 2018

In the waning days of his senior year at LaSalle University, David Grzybowski endeavored to answer a seemingly simple question: who was Tom Gola?

After five years of research, interviews, and writing sessions between his shifts as a television reporter, Grzybowksi delivered his answer in the form of a biography. The book, titled Mr. All-Around: The Life of Tom Gola, is available in bookstores now.

Mr. All-Around checks in at a little over 200 pages, but you won’t have trouble breezing through the contents in little more than a weekend. Grzybowksi’s writing style is plain and unpretentious. His text thankfully lacks the contrived alliterative phrases that pollute television copy.

The subject of the book proves to be a bit more enigmatic. When Grzybowski took on this project, Gola was in the winter of his life. A fall in 2003 had left the former basketball star physically impaired; Gola would spend the rest of his life recovering at St. Joseph’s Manor, an assisted living facility on Huntington Pike in Meadowbrook, Pennsylvania. Gola passed away in January 2014 at the age of 81.

Grzybowksi acknowledges in his introduction that “a stroke made it difficult for Gola to speak” during his lone meeting with his subject. Nevertheless, the two were able to speak about Gola’s “playing career and his time at LaSalle,” Grzybowksi told me in an email exchange.

The seeds of this discussion form the basis of Mr. All-Around, which chronicles Gola’s journey from a basement gym in Olney to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Along the way, Grzybowski documents Gola’s time at LaSalle College High School and LaSalle College. He also details Gola’s decade-long NBA career with the Philadelphia Warriors and the New York Knicks.

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Is ‘City of Basketball Love’ Ending?

Chris Jastrzembski - October 18, 2018

This was something that caught my eye last night.

(EDIT: The tweet has been deleted)

I don’t know about you, but it sounds like a “thanks and good bye” message to me. And some Inquirer writers also makes it seem like the popular college basketball site is ending.

If you try to go on their website, you’re greeted with a SportsEngine login page– which is what hosted the site. That’s not the same as sections and articles on the site. They work fine, as shown with the high school page. (EDIT: That page now redirects you to the SportsEngine login as well).

The account tweeted a story on Sean Yoder committing to Navy earlier yesterday, something that was posted on Tuesday. They were also in the midst of their 2018-19 college previews, which just began with Drexel on Monday.

The site’s co-founder and editor-in-chief, Josh Verlin, has his Twitter account inactive. Back in June, he wrote a post on the sixth anniversary of the site about battling depression.

This spring has been a trying one in my private life, and that’s had a major impact on my ability to run the business at the level I have been over the first five years and change. At first, I just tried to ignore it and push through, working as much as I could, but ultimately it was overwhelming, and I had to back off significantly.

As I’ve posted on social media several weeks back, I’ve dealt with chronic depression since my early teens. The combination of a recent breakup and a search for a new place to live, along with my general stress about growing this business and making its best that it could be — a stress that’s always at least in the back of my mind — brought me into a bad place. And I’ve learned enough about myself over the years to know when I need to take a couple steps back and let things settle out. So that’s what I did.

Though I know that the last two months have been necessary for my mental health and just to get my private life in order, I still feel as though I’ve let down all the players, coaches, parents and fans who have relied on our site’s steady presence throughout the years. And I’m sure people will tell me that I don’t need to feel this way, my health is my priority, etc., and I get that. But I still feel badly. So there you have it.

A few things. First off, I hope everything with Josh is good. I’ve read his work on CoBL as well as when he joined the Inquirer last year. He does a great service to the high school and college basketball scene.

Second, it would suck to see the site go right before the start of the hoops season. I’ve been a fan of the site since I was a junior at La Salle College High School, and it was a blessing to have a different voice dedicated to the sport. Talking to him a few times while running the La Salle Sports Twitter account– Josh is a genuine guy. I’ll miss the site, and so will the local college hoops scene.

UPDATE: Since the post was published, the account tweeted directly to me. I tried reaching out to them but was blocked by the account shortly after (I have since been unblocked).

They also replied to their last tweet with a grim outlook on sports journalism.

UPDATE #2: Looks like the site is done, according to the Twitter account.

There’s also more tweets coming in. Some people close to him think it’s not Josh tweeting from the account, but it does not appear to be the case. They have since all been deleted.

UPDATE #3: The CoBL website home page shows this.

If you Google the site, the sections don’t work. Some articles are still accessible via Twitter.

Sports Betting Updates

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FanDuel Sportsbook Review

Things have picked up for NJ online sports betting. FanDuel Sportsbook launched their sports betting app in September and they, along with DraftKings, have quickly become the leaders in the space. If you want to know how the sites compare to each other, read our DraftKings Sportsbook vs. FanDuel Sportsbook post. Otherwise, keep reading to get our review of FanDuel and their current bonus offers. Bonus: First deposit matched up to $100 Minimum Deposit: $10 FanDuel

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DraftKings Sportsbook Promo Code: DraftKings Is Offering a $500 Free Bet

DraftKings Sportsbook has been live in New Jersey for over three full months now and a lot has changed since launch, including promos and bonuses. Here is the current best DraftKings Sportsbook promo code and full review. The season of giving is upon us and our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook are spreading the holiday cheer between now and the end of the month by increasing their $200 free bet offer, which they’ve been running pretty

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The Best New Jersey Sportsbook Promos This Weekend

If you still haven’t gotten in on New Jersey’s legal sports betting action, now is a great time to check out the various promos some of the best betting apps are offering this weekend – just be sure to hit the “bet now” button or links to take advantage of these deals, as some of them are exclusive to our audience. For those of you in Pennsylvania, PA sports betting is coming soon. FanDuel Sportsbook FanDuel

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La Salle Found Their Man

Kevin Kinkead - April 9, 2018

He was right here in Philadelphia.

Ashley Howard, Jay Wright’s top assistant at Villanova, will take over as the Explorers’ next head basketball coach following the departure of Dr. John Giannini after 14 seasons.

You might not know much about him, but you’ve probably seen a lot of him, speaking with Wright on the Nova bench from 2013 to 2018, a stretch that featured a lot of winning and very little losing.

Howard is a Philly native, a Bonner and Drexel grad who saw a collegiate playing career with the Dragons cut short when he was diagnosed with a heart condition. He took an assistant coaching job at La Salle in 2004, went back to Drexel in 2008 in a similar role, and then joined up with Wright five years ago.

Josh Verlin at City of Basketball Love, my go-to site for local hoops, wrote a bit about Howard’s candidacy for the job:

“Ask anybody around Philly hoops which area assistant coach was like to become a head coach, and Ashley Howard was the first name out of his or her mouth.

A CBSSports.com poll last August had Howard as one of the nine assistant coaches voted “most likely to become a coaching star” at some point in his career. Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel had Howard fifth on his list of 12 assistants ready for head coaching looks this offseason. Like Baker Dunleavy, who left Jay Wright’s staff to take over the Quinnipiac job last offseason, it seemed almost inevitable that this was the year that Howard would make the jump himself.

So when La Salle’s head coaching job opened up, Howard’s name immediately came to mind as one of the top potential candidates. Former La Salle star Tim Legler, who had NBA playing and AAU coaching experience but none on a Division I sideline, became a hot name as well, and (Athletic Director Bill) Bradshaw also brought in Duke associate head coach Nate James for an interview.

But there’s no denying all the intangibles Howard had, and as long as he wanted the job — which clearly, he did — then it was going to be his job to lose.”

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This Art Print Features Every Big 5 Score in the Palestra’s History

Jim Adair - March 15, 2016

You’ve probably seen artist Dan Duffy’s work. His word-mosaic art of Brian Dawkins or Brad Lidge probably hangs in the living room of at least one of your friends. But he’s really outdone himself with his latest piece.

Duffy’s image of the Palestra, as you can see with detail above, features the dates, teams and scores from every Men’s Big 5 game ever played in the arena to celebrate its 60th anniversary. Sales of the print benefit the American Cancer Society, and it can give you so much eye-straining to check every Villanova win – Kyle – that you’ll need glasses.

Kyle: COULD THEY FIT THEM ALL ON THERE?

Celebrate the Best Philly Sports Team of the Year with This Commemorative DVD

Kyle Scott - October 23, 2013

I’m trying to reconcile the cognitive dissonance of that headline and the fact that we’re talking about La Salle basketball. But ’tis true– your greatest Philly sports moment of the year, thus far, and most likely come December 31, is The Southwest Philly Floater.

The folks over at La Salle have put together a commemorative DVD, just in time for the holidays!

La Salle Athletics is excited to announce the release of a commemorative DVD highlighting the 2012-13 men’s basketball season. SWEET! runs approximately 70 minutes and chronicles the season from its opening tip-off to the final buzzer.

The DVD contains never-before seen interviews with head coach Dr. John Giannini and several players as well as video highlights from every game and exclusive, behind-the-scenes content. It is narrated by men’s basketball PA announcer Kevin Casey and was produced by Molly Gallagher.

Gotta say– I grew some respect for the La Salle folks last spring. They were genuinely excited to be in the Tournament and didn’t rub it in to fans of other schools (like you St. Joe’s folks may have done…). And the sentiment was mutual among alumni of the other Big 5 schools and Drexel. Had to root for La Salle, Tyrone Garland and his Cousin Bern.

The DVD is $20. The money goes to the school. Probably better than the Phillies’ Home Companion this year. Go buy one.

ESPN College GameDay Coming to The Palestra for Temple-La Salle

Kyle Scott - August 14, 2013

The last time College GameDay was in town

This is cool. Because I’m a snob, I think that every College GameDay in Philadelphia should include Villanova… but still, this is cool: ESPN College GameDay is coming to The Palestra for Temple-La Salle on January 18.

From La Salle:

Tickets for the game will be split evenly between the two schools and the student section behind the ESPN GameDay set will also be divided equally.

The game at the Palestra will conclude ESPN’s “My Home Court” initiative – a week-long celebration of college basketball’s greatest venues.

Oddly, the game won’t be ESPN’s featured matchup that day. The show will air at 10 a.m. and the game will be at 12 p.m., rather than the usual prime time start at College GameDay sites.

The night game that night is Louisville-UCONN.

Video: One Shining Moment

Kyle Scott - April 9, 2013

How does the Southwest Philly Floater not make One Shining Moment? No shoutout to Cousin Bern? Tyrone Garland’s mom? Outrage.

An Intimate Setting Awaits Sweet 16 Teams in Dallas

Kyle Scott - March 28, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 12.36.31 PM
If you look closely enough, you can vaguely see something resembling a basketball court down there, via WFAA TV

This is why the NCAA is a bunch of money-loving hypocrites. Look at this place– fucking joke. Hey congratulations, you’ll be sitting in the lower risers where you can’t see dick other than the sweaty neck waddle of a Kansas almost-grad. So to compensate, we added even more ridiculous HD boards so you can spend $200 to see Dunk City in ultra HD, just like you could have done right in your fucking living room.

I’ve never been to one of these massive tournament venues– I skipped out when Villanova was in the Sweet 16 and Final Four in Detroit two years in a row. But I have gone to tournament games at the Wells Fargo Center (twice for Villanova opening rounds…), TD Garden (Villanova Elite Eight…) and Carrier Dome (Villanova Sweet 16*…), and I can tell you that the games in the traditional basketball arenas (Philly and Boston), compared to those in the larger ones (Syracuse), are like night and day. I get it– it’s money. But games played at midfield in massive football venues, like the ones to be held in Dallas, or the ones held in Detroit, are entirely ridiculous. Camera angles are weird, sight lines are sometimes non-existent and quality of play is severely hampered by the extremely awkward environment and awful shooting backdrops. It’s not fair to the players, coaches, schools and fans whose teams make it that far. But hey, it’s all about education and the student athlete, right? Corrupt bunch of pricks.

Also, fuck Jerry Jones.

*I can’t help it that they’re a really good program.