Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Road to Knoxville: The Guru Gets Reupholstered

By Mel Greenberg

PHILADELPHIA -- The passing of the Memorial Day Holiday on Monday means there are now less than two weeks before the Guru joins former Texas star Andrea Lloyd Curry, former Louisiana Tech star Pam Kelly-Flowers, former Tennessee stars Daedra Charles-Furlow and Bridgette Gordon, and Georgia coach Andy Landers as inductees of the 2007 class to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame class.

Since the Guru is not in the frame of mind to write about himself, except to note a few items for entertainment purposes, as they say, the blogging team will be providing coverage most of the way.

At this hour, Acacia is on her way back to the Stateside and her Syracuse home after spending the past five months in a special studies program in Bologna, Italy.

Erin is working the Guru beat on her own, and it should also be noted the Guru had a sit-down last week with Inquirer colleague Mike Vitez for an undisclosed project commissioned by the home office.

Kate has been known to be giving interviews as an expert on the Guru after writing a definitive biography a year ago for a class project at Rutgers that is now drawing others seeking to find pearls about the Guru for their own publications.

Jonathan will be providing technical assistance as well as commentary, we surmise, for both the Guru's blog from Knoxville and perhaps also for Philly.com.

Some items to be revealed here over the next 10 days will be releases about the Guru's escorts at the induction ceremony, the person who will provide the video commentary, the music the orchestra will play when the Guru mounts the stage, and as well as coverage of the speeches and schedule of events.

We do know that Doris Burke and the 2007 WBCA "Mel Greenberg Media Award" winner Debbie Antonelli will co-emcee the events. The Guru has been around long enough to say he covered both Burke at Providence and Antonelli at North Carolina State before they moved on to broadcast careers later in life.

The Guru is seeking clarification now as to the order of introductions since the alphabetical lineup has changed with the adjustment of married names in several instances, dropping the Guru from third to fifth. The Guru is also continuing the mammoth effort of building the invite list for the Philadelphia party so a date and time can be set.

Work on the speeches will begin late this week with the Guru recently told that he would have to reduce the time of the induction speech from the 12 minutes, 13 seconds used by Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma a year ago to seven.

"At 7:o1, the orchestra will begin to play, just like the academy awards,'' said Karen Tucker, director of basketball relations.

Ironically, both the Guru and Tucker were among several media members who spent the last induction event virtually under the Tennessee Theater in the Green Room where Tucker was then covering Auriemma in her previous job as a sportswriter for the New Haven Register and the Guru was covering his eighth ceremony -- which is all of them -- with emphasis on the Huskies coach because of his background growing up in Norristown in suburban Philadelphia.

Despite the heaving involvement with preparations, we may still sneak in a WNBA game or two this week to provide some normal news as well as a budding local collegiate story.

Incidentally, before anyone asks, no one is playing the Guru, nor is he playing himself, in the movie about Immaculata, which recentlybegan filming in the area.

Meanwhile, it was a year and two months ago, that the Guru was given word of his induction from the WBHOF board that solved its fight over "who would be first to officially tell" by all being in the same room when the Guru was informed.

That created a tie among the group, but the person who made the actual un-official, official speech was former Texas coach Jody Conradt, the president of the board, who simply told the Guru in Knoxville, "When you come down here next year, make sure you bring a tux."

On Monday, a sartorial committee consisting of the Guru's sister, brother-in-law, one of his nieces and her boyfriend took the Guru to a clothier to fulfill Conradt's request.

A Tux, a new suit, two new pairs of shoes, cuff links, two shirts, and several pairs of dress socks went into the purchasing mix.

When the appropriate time comes, team Guru will provide photo and, perhaps, video footage of the Guru's new look.

And that's the report for Tuesday AM, with lots to follow from the team, I'm sure.

-- Mel


Blogger RTN - Maria M. said...

A tux? Wow ...

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