Monday, November 17, 2008

RIP Pete Newell

The great Pete Newell passed away today. Bruce Jenkins of the SF Chronicle wrote a great obituary. Newell won a national championship with USF and CAL Berkeley. He also won the Olympics. Jenkins wrote a great book on Newell a few years back that I enjoyed, called A Good Man.

Here is an excerpt from the obit, which is worth your time.

"There are those who feel Newell was the greatest basketball coach of all time, and to them, the issue isn't even debatable. He built empires out of sawdust, all the while molding impressionable youngsters into the men they would become...More than all this, though, I remember the man. People marveled at his instincts, his innate sense of the human spirit, his ability to accurately size up a person within moments. I learned that he was a coffee-swilling poker player by the age of 10; that he came from an ethnically diverse neighborhood in the heart of Los Angeles; that he was a child actor in Hollywood, routinely brawling with other kids over their jokes about his haircut; that he had seen Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore by the age of 19 as a steamship deck cadet; that he witnessed the horrors of World War II as a Navy seaman."

Here's a litle song send off for Newell, courtes of Eddie Vedder.

Goodbye - Vedder