Final Four DNA

By Eric G. Satterwhite

Play resumes this weekend for the 2007 Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship in Atlanta, Georgia featuring a repeat of last years National Championship game with defending titlist the University of Florida versus 2006 runner-up the Bruins of UCLA. The titanic clash between the Hoyas of Georgetown and the Buckeyes of Ohio State books an exceptional twin bill that will be longed discussed in various circles after March Madness shuts down in the ATL after crowning the Champ on April 2, 2007.

Interesting enough each team features players that have parents that were not only formidable athletes in basketball but also displayed excellence in tennis, track & field and coaching. With that in mind I decided to put together a “Final Four Athletic Progeny” team based on the sporting endeavors of father and sons participating in the collegiate showdown for hoop supremacy this calendar year.

Top Father and Son Coaching Tandem
The last time the Hoyas were in a Final Four (1985) the senior John Thompson was marching the sidelines with towel in hand and bellowing instructions. John Thompson Sr. was the Coach who made “Hoya Paranoia” part of the hoops lexicon as well as his team being known as the “Beast from the Big East”. Senior Thompson coached Georgetown to it’s only National Championship and also appeared two other times in some of the most storied games in NCAA history losses to North Carolina and Villanova.

Georgetown is the only school in NCAA history to have both a father and son coach a team to the Final Four and it was accomplished at the same school.

Top Final Four Father and Son Tandems
1. Patrick Ewing Jr. (Georgetown Hoyas) & Patrick Ewing Sr: Ewing Sr. was a former perennial NBA All Star and is New York’s all-time leading scorer.

2. Taurean Green (Florida Gators) & Sidney Green: Sidney was the fifth overall pick in the 1983 NBA draft played eight seasons in the NBA.

3. Jeremiah Rivers (Georgetown Hoyas) & Glen “Doc” Rivers: Doc played13 seasons in the NBA, was a one time NBA All-Star and is the current head coach of the Boston Celtics.

4. Al Horford (Florida Gators) & Tito Horford: Al’s seven-foot father played three seasons in the NBA and was a consensus High School All-American.

Top Final Four Father and Son Track & field – Hoop Combo
Mike Conley Jr’s father Mike Conley Sr. was an elite triple jump track and field athlete and won an Olympic Gold medal for the triple jump in 1992 and a triple jump gold medal at the 1993 World Track and Field Championship. The Buckeyes starting point guard’s father also still owns the indoor record for the Triple jump.

Top Final Four Father and Son Tennis – Roundball Combo
Joakim Noah’s father Yannick Noah a tennis pro who had a career singles record of 476-210, won the 1983 French open and 23 singles titles.

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