Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Goodbyes

Tough to accept that Greivis Vasquez has played his last game in a Maryland uniform. In an interview with NBC 4 Gary Williams gets choked up realizing that Vasquez will be moving on. Williams consoled himself with the knowledge that Vasquez will still be a part of the basketball program. Vasquez and Gary were meant for each other. Both are sometimes volatile and give their critics too much material to work with but they each have a burning passion for Maryland basketball and great pride in what they do. It is a shame Vasquez didn’t get the chance to play on the biggest stage in college basketball, the Final Four, but he saved the program from mediocrity. He chose to come back to Maryland even when he could have made good money playing professionally, even if not in the NBA. In the four years Vasquez played for the Terrapins they usually won or lost on him and for his last three seasons that was the case every night, game after game. No player since Walt Williams has had that kind of burden to win games with his own play. No player for Gary Williams since the end of the sanctions has had only two teammates make All-ACC teams in four years. D.J. Strawberry made 2nd team in 2007 and James Gist made 2nd team in 2008. Even John Gilchrist played on teams with four other All-ACC players: Steve Blake, Drew Nicholas, Ryan Randle and Nik Caner-Medley. Vasquez probably had the least help from his teammates of any player in recent Maryland history and yet his still finished 2nd all time in points and assists. Vasquez got his share of recognition this season with a Player of the Year award in the ACC, 1st team All-ACC selection and a collection of other All-American awards. He will have his jersey put in the rafters at Comcast Center next season for certain. Still he has battled doubters and detractors his whole career at Maryland in a way that is unlike any other player who has accomplished what he has at Maryland. The emotion in Gary Williams voice when asked what it felt like to know he wouldn’t get to coach Vasquez again tells you all you need to know about how important the senior guard has been to Maryland’s program.

 

Vaya con Dios, Grievis! It has been an amazing ride.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Vasquez' record speaks for itself, and shows his detractors to be as dense as a bag of hammers. But the numbers don't reveal his true worth to the team and the program. That was dramatically evident in the Mich. State game when he almost singlehandedly brought them a victory at the last few seconds. There are few players capable of that kind of intensity and skill. And, it was actually not a surprise, as he has done that numerous times in his career at Maryland. We wish him all the best and congratulate him again on his dedication, commitment, enthusiasm, and accomplishment.