May 28, 2012

Written by sherri. Posted in May 12

We’re all set for the NBA’s  version of the Final Four and there should be excitement galore.  There is so much star power between Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo of the Celtics against LeBron James and Dwayne Wade of the Heat.  The Eastern Conference finals should be thrilling and intense.  I think King James and D. Wade have been playing so well, they have the edge…Heat in six.

 

Oklahoma City and San Antonio have star power too.  Wow, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, going up against Tony Parker, TIm Duncan and Manu Ginobli.  Future Hall of Famer Gregg Popvich will get the Spurs to the winner’s circle in seven super games.  It should be an outstanding series.

May 20, 2012

Written by sherri. Posted in May 12

Sarasota was the sports capital of the world, and it all benefitted pediatric cancer research.  We netted a record amount, over $1.6 million, as the Sarasota Ritz Carlton ballroom was packed on a very special evening.

All I can say is, thank you to all of the people involved in the seventh annual Dick Vitale Gala!  I was thrilled and touched by an event that included an incredible donation of a half-million dollars by an anonymous donor!  All I can say about that is W-O-W!

One of the great thrills was to introduce my special team, a number of cancer survivors who were in attendance.  There was Ashley Krueger, who looked absolutely beautiful.  Tatum Parker, who put so many smiles on the faces in the crowd.  Kyle Peters, who was a little league star who has won his biggest battle to date.  Jacob Raleigh, a tennis player who showed so much courage after losing his arm to cancer.  Nine year old Olivia Hamilton, who has endured so much, was there with her proud family.

I have really been touched by these kids who have fought so hard in the war against cancer.  No child should have to go through chemotherapy; they should be outside, playing sports and enjoying themselves.  That is why I am so passionate about this battle.

My associate head coach for the team was St. John’s Steve Lavin, also a cancer survivor.  My head coach was Rollie Massimino, whose Villanova Wildcats pitched a perfect game to win the national championship in 1985.  Rollie has been winning the fight against lung cancer.

I cannot thank the honorees enough.  Lou Holtz, Jay Wright and Gary Williams all gave great speeches.  The room was filled with so many greats from the world of sports.  There were so many college coaches like John Calipari, Rick Pitino and Tom Izzo.  The world of football was well represented by the likes of Heisman winner Vinny Testaverde, Warrick Dunn, Josh Freeman, Ricky Watters and Vincent Jackson.  Former NBA coaches Mike Fratello and Richie Adubato were there.  Players like Christian Laettner, Doug West, Alvin Williams and Adrian Branch were there as well.

Jimmy V’s legacy has been to fight this dreaded disease so that someday we will have a cure.  There have been so many breakthroughs with cancer research, so many positive stories that would have never happened without the dollars raised by the V Foundation and the grants given to great hospitals, doctors and researchers.

I truly appreciate all the support and help.  This event would have never happened without the love and effort of Mary Kenealy and her team, as well as my wife Lorraine.  To me, this was the best gala we have ever had and the big winner was cancer research.  Thanks to all involved in this wonderful evening.

 

May 11, 2012

Written by sherri. Posted in May 12

I had a great time speaking at the DISH Network Summit in Orlando.  Bob Knight and Coach K were among the previous keynote speakers there.

I love talking to business groups during the off-season.  I really enjoy meeting people and Orlando is pretty close to home.

I enjoyed spending time with DISH co-founder, Charlie Ergenm, who is a big Tennessee fan.  President and CEO, Joe Clayton, is a huge Kentucky and John Calipari fan, so I am sure he loved the events in New Orleans in April.  Senior VP, Arnie Ahmed, is a fan of the General, Robert Montgomery Knight.

One week until the gala…it will be awesome baby with a capital “A”!  Sarasota will be the sports capital of the world.

 

May 10, 2012

Written by sherri. Posted in May 12

I am so excited about my gala coming up next week, but I want to talk about hoops right now, baby!

It is so sad to see what is going on in college basketball as so many important rivalries are going away.  I think about Kansas and Missouri not meeting in the Border War since the Tigers went to the Big 12.  Syracuse and Georgetown will be ending their famed Big East rivalry.

Now Indiana and Kentucky are ending their battle.

The bottom line is the fans, the alumni, the media and the players really suffer when these rivalries are not played.

The Kentucky-Indiana rivalry is so natural and it should continue.  There is no reason that it should end.  Somehow, someway, the two coaches – John Calipari and Tom Crean – should get in a room and make it happen.

Everybody involved loses when a rivalry like this goes away.  There is  so much pride involved when two traditional powers square off.  Is this all about greed?  Kentucky and Indiana should sign a four year deal and play two at home sites and two neutral sites.  That would be the fair way to do it.