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ISSUE 116 VOL 15 PUBLISHED 3/21/2003

Ole staff helps charity, wins first annual basketball game

By Ken Foote
Sports Editor

Friday, March 21, 2003

St. Olaf and Carleton squared off on the hardwood yet again Saturday night. This time charity, not rivalry, brought them together. Faculty, staff and honorary members from both colleges hooped it up at the Skoglund Athletic Center to raise money in order to assist the building of educational facilities in India through Lutheran Partners in Global Ministries. The game was played using NCAA standard rules, but there were a few changes to help out the old-timers. The game was played in two 15 minute halves, as opposed to 20 minutes in regulation play, and the participants were afforded an extra 10 seconds on the standard 35-second shot clock. Enforcing those rules was former Princeton basketball standout, and Sports Illustrated cover boy, President Christopher Thomforde. Thomforde was all smiles during and after the game. “The basketball game was great,” Thomforde said. “It is wonderful that St. Olaf athletes can support a charity in this way. For my sake, I am glad there were no difficult officiating calls to make.” As soon as the President blew the opening whistle, it was clear that both squads came to play. The game was closely contested in the early going as the teams traded baskets en route to an 11-9 Ole lead after four minutes of play. After a time out and some substitutions Assistant Admissions Director Milyon Trulove scored five quick points that ignited a 15-0 St. Olaf run. The Knights fought back valiantly using the long ball as their primary weapon, but were only able to get within 10 points when the halftime buzzer sounded. With that, the Oles took a 34-24 advantage into the much needed break. While the game was clearly competitive, it became obvious that this game was more about having a good time in helping a good cause than anything else. The ensemble of Ole staffers hung on to win the first annual St. Olaf-Carleton faculty and staff charity basketball game. No one seemed to have more fun, or get more encouragement from the crowd than head basketball coach Dan Kosmoski. Sporting the 1980s Patrick Ewing-esque tee shirt under the jersey look, Kosmoski drew chants of “tee shirt, tee shirt” from the adoring crowd. “I am glad they enjoyed that,” Kosmoski said. “It is good for them to see us [the faculty] in a different light then they see us everyday.” Kosmoski added that there was a threefold reason the experience was so enjoyable. “First, it is great to have the opportunity to help a good, worthy cause,” Kosmoski said. “We didn’t solve any world problems or anything, but we raised money that will hopefully change some of those kids’ lives for the better.” The second reason stemmed from the opportunity to bond with his colleagues from the other side of the Cannon River. “We rarely get to do something with them, so it is always fun to get together with Carleton,” Kosmoski said. The final prong of Kosmoski’s reasoning reflected the sense of community on the St. Olaf campus. “It was great to bring in people from different departments and enjoy some time together,” Kosmoski said. “It was fun for me to participate in an event rather then coach or orchestrate it.“ Kosmoski’s only regret involved a miscommunication with some of the students. “They thought I said I was going to get my 30 [points],” Kosmoski said. “I said I was going to get my three, so I hit my average.” There were certainly times when the players looked their age. One such moment was when the Oles failed to convert a three on none fast break, missing two lay ups. “It gets hard,” said Kosmoski, who was not involved in the aforementioned debacle. “I haven’t played in probably ten years. There were some noonball legends out there making it look easy, but most of us were getting tired after a few trips up and down the floor.” Kosmoski took care of his points with one shot from beyond the arc drawing a loud ovation from the assembled masses. However, he drew in an even more boisterous reaction when he stood up near the bench and yelled, in his coaching voice, for the team to slow down the pace of the game as the Oles methodically moved the ball up court. The efforts of everyone who suited up were appreciated, but Kosmoski had some advice for the participants from the football team, head coach Chris Meidt and his assistants Scott Hazelton and Rob McCarthy. “You guys should stay on the football field,” Kosmoski said.

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