Rolando Blackman: Big Eight memories
My collected wisdom — our Sunday Page 2 interview with a notable sports personality reflecting on life and a career in sports — for the Sunday paper is on Rolando Blackman, one of the two Dallas Mavericks whose number has been retired (Brad Davis is other other).
You can read the Blackman collected wisdom here:
But I didn’t use everything I got from Blackman, so I thought I would share it here. This is a guy with a Big Eight basketball pedigree as stout as anyone. Blackman, who played at KSU 1977-81, in 1996 was named to the all-time all-Big Eight team. He was the 1980 Big Eight player of the year and a three-time Big Eight defensive player of the year.
Blackman is a wonderful interview. He talked at length about his days playing at Kansas State for Jack Hartman, who had played at Oklahoma A&M for Henry Iba and who, Blackman said, was constantly mentioned by Hartman. Blackman talks passionately about tradition, how it reaches out and helps people along.
In fact, his words about tradition were some of the most interesting I’ve ever heard. Alas, this was as we were leaving, just saying so-long the other night at American Airlines Center, and my recorder was off and my notebook put away. But Blackman talked about how tradition creates expectations and standards. As good a description as I’ve ever heard of tradition.
Anyway, here is some of the old Big Eight stuff Blackman talked about.
Blackman reminisced about a memorable wrist injury suffered his sophomore year at Lloyd Noble Center. That was in 1979, OU’s Big Eight championship year. “I remember Lloyd Noble Center. That was a fast break playing against Terry Stotts and Cary Carrabine and all the rest of the crew. Aaron Curry. My sophomore year. Really didn’t know how to handle myself.”
Blackman said of dunking and curtailing his momentum, he carried himself on through and his elbow got caught on the back of the backboard and flipped him. “I was out three or four minutes,” Blackman said.
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