This Sunday at 11:30am we present “From the Parking Lot…10 Years Later.” It was an idea I had 15 months ago and it’s been a labor of love since.
The best part about putting this special together was doing the interviews. In most cases, when you do interviews with athletes or coaches, it’s a pretty quick deal. For this special, I was able to sit down and actually have a conversation. Each person had one or two great stories to tell.
Every basketball team has a line-up, well here’s mine for this Sunday’s special:
I caught up with the major figures, Coach Tom Brennan, T.J. Sorrentine, Taylor Coppenrath and Germain Mopa Njila. Let’s face it, if I couldn’t speak to all of them, there is no special.
I also spoke with Ryan Schneider and Kyle Cieplicki. They were freshman on that ‘05 team and they’re also assistant coaches on this year’s UVM staff. It’s a cool connection between the past and present. My thanks to head coach John Becker for allowing us to shoot the interviews in the basketball office.
Barry Stone played on the UVM basketball team’s in the mid-50′s. Since then, he’s been a long time season ticket holder and sits just a couple of seats over from coach Brennan at Patrick Gym. He also has been to nearly every road game the team plays. Getting his take as a former player and die hard fan was invaluable.
It’s no surprise that WCAX-TV followed the Cats to Worcester. Shawna Lidksy traveled and reported on the team that entire season, so it was only fair that she got to go to the big dance as well. Yes she was a media member, but Lidsky couldn’t help but get swept up in the emotion of the moment. It’s evident in her interview.
Of course, there’s two sides to every story. While I’d have better luck growing hair on my head than getting Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim or star player Gerry McNamara, I was able to speak with a man who was behind the microphone for the Orange during that game. Jason Benetti was a student broadcaster for Syracuse radio and is currently doing play-by-play for ESPN, FOX Sports and Westwood One. He was a good sport, although he does say that game haunts his dreams.
Speaking of big time national radio voices, Ryen Russillo, makes a cameo in this as well. Russillo, a UVM grad and current ESPN radio co-host, was working in Boston at the time of the game. He shares his unique perspective and what that win meant for UVM hoop going forward.
Mike Trimboli was part of UVM hoop going forward. Trimboli was at the game in Worcester and says that experience swayed him to pick UVM. I’m sure he wasn’t the only one who decided to become a Catamount after watching that game.
So those are the players in my game, this Sunday’s special. All were very gracious with their time and it’s much appreciated. Taylor Coppenrath said the peices were all in place in 2005 to make a perfect puzzle. “From the Parking Lot…20 Years Later,” was like putting together a puzzle, let’s hope In 2015, the pieces are still perfect.