Majerus spent 10 minutes explaining sarcasm. "Why are you that way?" Ma asked.
Exasperated, Majerus said, "Ma, your people eat dog. We're sarcastic."
Ma never became a star at Utah. But Majerus was so taken by his earnestness, team spirit and desire to learn that in a packed Huntsman Center on Senior Night, he delivered a farewell address to Ma—in Mandarin. The gesture caused Ma's eyes to well up with tears again.
Turns out that college coaches will go to great lengths not just to get a foreign player. They'll also go to great lengths after they've landed him. As difficult as Mandarin is, Finnish may be more indecipherable, yet Majerus says, "If Hanno stays till he's a senior, on Senior Night I'll give his farewell speech in Finnish."
At this rate the Utah coach will soon be a world-class linguist. Now he just has to make sure he's there to pick up the phone.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]