The game didn't
count toward our record, but I was still excited about scoring my first points.
The cocaine wasn't a factor. By the time we played, at 7 p.m., I didn't feel
it. It had only been a one-and-one.
My goal freshman
year was to be on the foul line in the last seconds with a game on the line.
But I didn't expect to be in that situation so soon, in my first start, only
the 11th game of the regular season. We were playing Boston College in the
Palestra. With 21 seconds left, I made two foul shots to give us a 54-51 lead.
If I had missed, BC could have had the ball, down by a point. Instead, I iced
it. BC scored again, but we won 54-53.
We had the
biggest party that night. By hitting the foul shots, I was the Man. When you
win a game like that in college, you're the Man. You can talk to any girl you
want, do anything you want.
I don't know if
that's what the other guys shot for, but I did. My dream, whenever I played,
was to be awesome during the game, then have everything at my fingertips after
it was over. To go into a bar and have people buy me drinks and line up to talk
to me. It's just unrealistic worship. It doesn't happen in real life, life
after basketball, but back then, how was I supposed to know anything different?
I was taught to play basketball and assumed that these were just some of the
fringe benefits, my just rewards. I definitely deserved them that night because
I was the Man.
After the BC game
a bunch of us went to a bar. At closing time I told everybody, "Party at my
room." And back we went.
It was one of the
best spur-of-the-moment parties we ever had at Villanova, and all we did was
drink. Our room was a mess. Beer cans and champagne bottles were scattered
everywhere. But there was no pot, no cocaine. Back then I wasn't thinking about
doing that stuff all the time. I could take it or leave it. I smoked my pot and
did cocaine at various times with other people. But cocaine was just for fun
then, something that other people had and I would do when it was around. But I
wasn't buying the stuff. Yet.
Over the summer
of 1982, between my freshman and sophomore years, I was picked for a Big East
all-star team that would travel to Angola. Lou Carnesecca of St. John's was
coach of the team, and we had a crazy mix of players. Red Bruin from Syracuse.
Norman Bailey and Vern Giscombe from Connecticut. My Villanova teammate Happy
Dobbs. Sir John Collins from Seton Hall. Jeff Allen and Billy Goodwin of St.
John's. And Carl Hill of Providence, Steve Beatty of Pitt and Martin Clark of
Boston College. We met in New York on July 23, the day before we would leave
from Kennedy Airport. After practice we were put up in a big home in Pelham
Manor. And we had a party there.
Some of us were
getting drunk, and after a while one of the players asked if we wanted to get
high. "Yeah," I said. "Let's get some cocaine." We weren't that
far from Astoria, Queens, where one of the players knew where to score
So a few of us
chipped in some of our meal money and took a ride. We bought an eighth of an
ounce of cocaine and, back at the house, sat in a room and partied all night.
We split up the coke we had left over. Some guys saved theirs. I did mine
At this point,
whenever I could get my hands on coke, I was doing it. I really started liking
it. Sometimes I had to pay for it, sometimes I didn't. Either way, I liked it.
But that night was a big turning point for me. Now I knew where to go for drugs
in New York. I made my main connections that night, and they treated me like a
star. It was one thing to be treated well in school. But I liked being treated
like that in the streets, too.