Thursday, April 12, 2007

Name from the Past - Tom Abatemarco

Saw Tom Abatemarco's name pop up in a news story. I guess rumors had him getting an assitant job at Colorado:

Forget It, Tom Abatemarco Fans---Colorado's New Basketball Coach Says It's 'Comical' To Think the Guy Dumped By Drake In 1990 Will Be An Assistant

Abatemarco was on Valvano's staff in 1983. I can sort of remember after the championship, V was so worn out and maybe a little sick that Tom did Valvano's radio show for him. You could almost mistake his voice for V's. Like V, he was funny. Like V, he had some major flaws, including apparently not always having his kids best interests in mind. He was fired at both Drake and Sacremento State in what could pretty much be called player revolts.

The strongest memory I have of Tom was from around 84 or 85. State didn't yet have a practice facility and had to share Reynolds with the women for practice. So from time to time the men's team had practice in Carmichael Gymnasium. At that time all of V's practices were open, but this was a real treat because you could climb up on the walk and watch practice from about 20 feet off the floor. Anyway, they are running drills or scrimmage or something and Abatemarco is standing inbounds on the court during it. Not sure if he was coaching or not paying attention, but he gets in the way and causes backup guard George McClain to tweak his ankle pretty bad. This was the first time I saw the ugly side of Valvano, who proceeds to go off, commenting about his "G-D F-ing useless assistant". It was both funny and disturbing, but I always remembered it.

Just kind of struck me as I'm writing this that this whole internet/blog thing has a pretty disturbing side to it. I'm not the first to notice this of course, but how different is the world now. I have a memory of something inconsequential that happenned 23 years ago and feel compelled to write it down, and someone thinking about using Abatemarco as their Realtor who decides to google him is going to read it. It isn't really fair, but that genie is out of the bottle and we'll all just have to learn to adjust.