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College Basketball
John Feinstein
January 22, 1996
Son Knows Best
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January 22, 1996

College Basketball

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But no team suffered more than St. Joseph's. The Hawks made it to Blacksburg, Va., on Jan. 7 to play Virginia Tech, but the game was postponed, and it took the team 9� hours to get back to Philly by bus. Next, St. Joe's game against UMass on Jan. 9 was postponed, though it was played the next day. Then Arizona, which was to play St. Joe's last Saturday, took a look at Friday's prediction of more snow in Philadelphia and refused to fly, even though the game, scheduled to be on ESPN2, could have been played on Sunday. St. Joseph's, irate over the cancellation, showed up at the Palestra last Saturday for the scheduled start and, before perhaps 50 people, introduced the starting lineups for both teams and had the Hawk mascot throw the ball up for an opening tip. The Hawks won the tip and scored—they ran their offense to perfection—then everyone went home. The NCAA ruled, however, that the canceled game will not count as a forfeit.

Scary Day for UMass

When Massachusetts center Marcus Camby collapsed on Sunday after pregame warmups at St. Bonaventure, the college basketball world once again held its breath. Camby's sudden fall brought back the terrifying specter of Hank Gathers's death almost six years ago, when the Loyola-Marymount star suffered a fatal heart attack during a West Coast Conference tournament game. Thankfully, as of Monday, all indications were that what happened to Camby, the top-ranked Minutemen's leading scorer, wasn't as serious as it initially appeared.

Camby was taken to Olean (N.Y.) General Hospital and held overnight for tests. The Bonnies' team physician, Ed Griffin, said the 6'11" junior was "unresponsive to verbal commands for about 10 minutes" after collapsing, although his heart didn't stop beating, and he didn't stop breathing. On Monday, UMass coach John Calipari said that doctors ruled out any heart-related trouble, and he said Camby had been fighting a cold for several days.

Still, the incident was frightening enough that Calipari went with Camby to the hospital while assistant coach James Flint took over the team. The Minutemen, though in tears after their teammate's collapse, won their 14th straight game, beating the Bonnies 65-52. The incident was particularly frightening for UMass because it came just four days after swimmer Greg Menton died of an apparent heart attack during a meet against Dartmouth.

On Monday, Camby was moved from the hospital in Olean to one in Worcester, Mass., for more tests. He appeared relaxed in a meeting with the press and had a wide smile as he announced, "I'm fine, I feel great. I'm anxious to get back on the court." He couldn't be nearly as anxious as those who watched in fear as he lay unconscious on Sunday.

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