Sportsmanship displayed at, and with, my Alma Mater

  I lifted this from Rick McCharles’ blog. It’s a great story but what struck me is that it happened at my High School. I graduated from Milwaukee Madison and in fact when I was there, we were the State Champion Basketball team. We had a great program then too and in fact the culture of sportsmanship was alive even back then. In the Champion game, coach Ray Rozak wanted each player on the team to have played in the game, each being able to say “not only did my team win, but I played in that game.” Roazak’s Knights did win, but in the process he put a player in that was in his 5th year of High School.  Once this was revealed, the school was punished. We kept the trophy, but they took away the bragging rights. The record shows that there was no winner that year for basketball, because our team was disqualified post-victory. We all thought how dumb it was for old Ramblin’ Ray to play the kid, but when asked he said “We won the game, you all know it, they know it and we know it. He was on our team and he deserved to be a part of it, we are one team.”  Rozak was weird, I thought back then. But I couldn’t get past admiring him.  This story took me back.

ESPN.com reported a great story of sportsmanship from a High School Basketball game

… Milwaukee Madison senior Johntell Franklin, who lost his mother, Carlitha, to cancer on Saturday, Feb. 7, decided he wanted to play in that night’s game against DeKalb (Ill.) High School after previously indicating he would sit out.

He arrived at the gym in the second quarter, but Franklin’s name was not in the scorebook because his coach, Aaron Womack Jr., didn’t expect him to be there.


Rules dictated Womack would have to be assessed a technical, but he was prepared to put Franklin in the game anyway. DeKalb coach Dave Rohlman and his players knew of the situation, and told the referees they did not want the call.   The referees had no choice. But Rohlman did. 

“I gathered my kids and said, ‘Who wants to take these free throws?’” Rohlman said, recounting the game to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Darius McNeal put up his hand. I said, ‘You realize you’re going to miss, right?’ He nodded his head.” …  Reminds me a little of the movie Stick It. … The athletes deciding what’s “fair”, not the officials.

… “I did it for the guy who lost his mom,” McNeal told the newspaper. “It was the right thing to do.” …

Congratulations Coach Rohlman, you have a champion team whether you win or lose. Keep up the great work.


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