"What people tend to forget," adds Stacom, "is that Manute is to a 7-footer what a 7-footer is to a player 6'4". He doesn't have to go for fakes, he just waits for the shooter to come to him. And he's not like a lot of American players who want to swat a shot into the stands as a macho kind of thing. He's not interested in embarrassing anybody. He blocks the shot in a way that puts it right into transition for our running game."
And every time that happens, another notch goes up on the Manute block board, which the Gulls keep at each end of the Rogers High School gym floor during home games. Karolyn Walsh was diligently working one board last week. "Nobody tells us when to put one up," Karolyn said. "It's just something you know, you know?" But with two boards and no formal communications link, how do they keep the Block Boards in sync? "We just, like, signal to each other and say, 'Was that one, or what?' "
All the signals out of Newport say, "Is this a wild and crazy team, or what?"