Thanks everyone for your support. There will be no press conference but today I officially retire from long distance biking :) . Back in December I told my kids when Coach Massimino gets enshrined we will all get tix and go to the induction ceremony. I was really looking forward to it as I haven't seen Coach Mass in a long time. When he doesn't make the final list, my mind went into attack mode. Just feeling it was a knock against Coach Mass and Villanova Basketball. It is obviously a great honor to even be on the ballot, but just felt he was much deserving for a lifelong work to the game of basketball, having worthy statistics, winning at its highest level, creating a family atmosphere and graduating his players.
My daughter Katie (Kiddo) and I come up with the crazy plan to bike from Nevin Field House to Springfield MA (before I even know Mr. Mass is sick). Problem is I didn't own a bike that could make it out of the neighborhood. I started to train at 24 hour Fitness. I redo the math to Springfield and have 2nd, 3rd , 9th thoughts about this. So I buy a bike on Craigslist and hit the road. I'm in to my 4th day training on the road and my wife alerts me one morning "your Villanova coach is really sick". I haven't even told my wife yet of this crazy idea and I am shocked. I tell Kiddo, I better up the training as Coach Mass is real sick. About 6 days later he passes away. I am floored. I had pictured Coach Mass hearing about the ride and getting a kick out of it. Now I regroup my thoughts.
Kiddo on his passing says, "now we got to do it". Gulp. So I get back on the training. Fast forward to this past weekend and I make the decision (based on changing weather patterns) late Wednesday night to drive down to Villanova and leave from Jake Nevin 6:00 am Thursday. I still have severe doubts, ask a women walking her dog to take my picture, then I'm off down Ithan Ave. Google maps says go right so I go right, go left so I go left, on and on and on, trusting google maps all the way to Springfield, MA.
I check in with my Kiddo to post where I am and that I'm alive. 3 nights and 4 days later I make it to Springfield. And I am maxed out. I quickly go in to the Hall, as it closes in 2 hrs. They let me in with the ball I biked up with. I walk around for 30 min., its a lot cooler then I envisioned. Names and faces I recognize everywhere and I search out Paul Arizin. There is a "Coaches Section" and I am more convinced then ever that Coach Mass should get his spot. I then take a quick bank shot with my ball then go to the Coaches Section and leave the ball under Billy Cunningham's display and walk out, get on my bike and ride to the Amtrak station.
This was just a silly idea to get the message out to those on the secret voting committee. I respect your opinions and votes, but I clearly think you missed on this past final vote count. The commitment of Coach Massimino to his lifelong devotion to the game, getting the max out of his campers, coaches, players in the game and in life, and instead of playing golf for the rest of his retirement days, continued to coach into his 80's and even the last weeks of his life. Call me crazy (and your allowed after this bike ride) but I am confident this is a lifelong formula for a place in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Thanks, Ken