My thanks to William Nack for his exceptional article, A Lesson in Survival (March 5), about Detroit's Cooley High basketball coach, Ben Kelso. Kelso's commitment to excellence on and off the court should make him a role model for coaches at every level of competition.
SCOTT D. TROY
During the years, I have read many wonderful stories in SI, and this is one of the best. I'm pleased that Kelso was voted Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association. In my opinion he's the man of the year.
KEVIN V. MORAN
I swelled with emotion while reading about Kelso's triumph over adversity, but I shuddered to read that in a high school state championship game he had his players cheat by switching free throw shooters. The disciplinarian, father figure and pop psychologist failed as a coach by condoning such deeds.
KEVIN F. SULLIVAN
In his article on the nation's top high school football recruit (Hold On, Lou, Bobby's on the Other Line, Feb. 26), Douglas S. Looney states, "Clearly, a number on a jersey is of no real importance, except to Andre Hastings, which is why Florida State was blowing a gold-plated opportunity to sign up a diamond-class youngster...."
As a student-athlete at Florida State, I am disappointed that Looney would suggest that the Seminoles or any other teams were making a mistake in not offering Hastings the number 1. It seems unlikely to me that a coach like Bobby Bowden would scorn one player (in this case Shannon Baker, sophomore wide receiver and current owner of the number 1) to please a potential player, no matter how highly touted. It is also a shame that an important decision like choosing a college can be made so narrow-mindedly.
CHRIS T. KEENEY
Here's one Dawg fan who wishes Hastings had chosen Notre Dame, Florida State or any school other than Georgia. This young man has yet to play a down of collegiate football, and he's acting as though he's a Heisman Trophy candidate. We Bulldog fans are trying to put behind us memories of the Jan Kemp affair, which exposed how our school's players were being coddled academically, when along comes another athlete expecting preferential treatment. I wish Hastings all the luck in the world, but I see trouble on the horizon.
I say congratulations are in order to Bowden for not signing Hastings to a football scholarship. The number 1 Hastings demanded to have on his uniform symbolizes his inflated ego.
SCOTT L. TRAYLOR
Your article about 14-year-old Chris Robinson, who made the remarkable shot from midcourt with his back to the basket (On the Scene, Jan. 15), inspired me to enter the Bermuda Shoot contest held here at Harvard during halftime of the men's varsity games. I filled out an entry blank and was lucky enough to be chosen as one of two contestants for the Feb. 3 game, in which Harvard was playing Brown. We each had 45 seconds to make a layup, a free throw, a three-pointer and a midcourt shot. The prize was a weekend trip for two to Bermuda.
When it came time for me to shoot in front of 2,200 cheering fans, I was nervous. I made my layup and then missed a couple of free throws. Finally, I sank a foul shot on my third attempt and stepped back to the three-point line, from which I hit a trey on my second effort. With 25 seconds left, I missed from midcourt. The rebounder threw the ball back to me, and I lined up for my next shot. I took several steps backward to give myself a running start and heaved the ball. It went in! As I ecstatically double-pumped my fist, I was mobbed by fans. Thanks to SI and Chris, I had my moment of glory. Plus, my roommate, Mike Minor, and I plan to fly to Bermuda for a weekend in May.
Your obituary on Tony Conigliaro (POINT AFTER, March 5) brought back a memory. My dad's June 22, 1970, issue of SI had just arrived in the mail, and as I was carrying it into the house, I looked at the cover. I was startled to see Tony Conigliaro, his left eye frighteningly discolored, in a recreation of what he looked like after he was hit by a pitch by the Angels' Jack Hamilton three years earlier. The photograph left an impression on me through all the years I played catcher in high school and college, and made me think twice about calling for high and tight ones.
Would you please print that cover again? Now that I'm a doctor, I hope it will show all the budding brush-back artists out there what damage they may do.
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