|ESPN.com: Dick Vitale||[Print without images]|
Over the years in the world of college basketball, I have been fortunate enough to meet so many great people. There have been many characters, making the sport so special.
I think about Super Garf, Howard Garfinkel, who ran Five-Star camp for years. He also ran clinics (still does) and he still eats, drinks and sleeps basketball.
Sonny Vaccaro, the shoe guru who helped coaches make big money through sneaker deals. He started a trend years ago. The coaching fraternity owes him a debt of gratitude.
We just lost a big name in college hoops, Kenny Williamson, who was an ambassador for the game. Every time I ran into him, he talked about players and gave me great tidbits. He knew so much about the players. He was known as the Eggman, and he worked for years in the game. He was the assistant GM with the Memphis Grizzlies after serving as a scout for several teams.
Williamson would light up the arena with his smile. He had so many friends and was so respected and admired by so many coaches.
I missed him the other night in Atlanta during the Duke-Kentucky game. He would have been right there in the press room talking hoops.
I saw former Texas A&M coach and current Grizzlies director of player personnel Tony Barone the other night, and he worked with Williamson. He told me about Williamson's battle against cancer. It was worse than I thought and he succumbed to it.
Whenever I saw Williamson, I knew I would get the right scoop and great information. He was candid, straightforward and he will be missed.
Guys like Garf, Sonny and Kenny have been so vital to me in my basketball career. Rest in peace, Kenny.