If you like the Boston Celtics’ selection of Marcus Smart in the NBA draft Thursday night, you’re a visionary.
If you don’t, you probably haven’t moved on to chess after playing checkers. You just renewed your membership in the Dump Danny Ainge club.
Considering the lack of very good big men six picks into the draft – and that’s a whole other issue – Ainge was smart. The Celtics’ president of basketball operations should be a disciple of Bill Belichick’s “best athlete available” philosophy.
Every draftee is a risk at some level. Go for value over potential value and you’ve got a commodity to use or deal. Smart and Rajon Rondo can play together and enhance each other’s value. Then Ainge makes a secondary move. And a third move. Everything evolves.
• Why can’t LeBron James wear Celtics green? I don’t understand fans who think he’s a gun-for-hire and doesn’t have the character to walk in the footprints of Larry Bird and Paul Pierce. Not saying there’s any chance King James will ever call Boston his home. But if there’s ever a chance, Ainge should move mountains to make it happen.
• Ed Guiski, who grew up in the Kennebec River town of Winslow, was invited to try out for the 1960 U.S. Olympic basketball team. He was cut. He was 6-foot-5 and could always say he was beat out at forward by Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas, Bob Boozer and Terry Dischinger.
But Guiski didn’t brag and wasn’t a name dropper. His life afterward became too full of other accomplishments, too alive with family and friends and former players who became his friend.
Known as Big Ed, Guiski will be remembered Saturday morning at St. Martha’s Parish in Kennebunk. He died three days before Christmas at his winter home in Port Charlotte. He was 77.
Guiski was the head basketball coach for 26 years at Dexter High when the bustling community was known as the home of Dexter Shoes. His team won the Class B state title in 1987 after beating Rockland in an Eastern Maine final that went five overtimes.
Guiski was a giant among giants coaching Maine high school basketball teams. It was a time when the fundamentals of the game and of life were taught in equal measure.
He was a student of Polish history and proud of his Polish heritage, and had a love of classical music. And he was proud of his family, which included son-in-law Doug Roberts, the former Rumford High star and Sanford High coach, and Jenny Roberts, a granddaughter who is one of the best collegiate swimmers in the Northeast.
• If Bob Walsh had become the men’s basketball coach at the University of Maine last year, Dustin Cole might be heading to Orono instead of Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. Just a thought. Yes, it would have been a difficult decision for Cole.
During his high school career at Bonny Eagle, Cole attended the Providence College team camp that Walsh helped run. Walsh was the head coach at neighboring Rhode Island College. Cole wasn’t going to play Division III basketball at RIC but made a positive impression on Walsh.
Franklin Pierce, a very competitive Division II team, is coached by former Wells and St. Joseph’s College star David Chadbourne.
• Allie Clement, the recent McAuley High graduate, will get a jump on her college studies. She has left home already for Marist University in New York’s Hudson River Valley to begin summer classes and get acclimated to her freshman year in a new environment.
Smart move. The transition from high school senior to NCAA Division I student-athlete on scholarship is difficult for everyone. Sarah Marshall, a former McAuley basketball star who was a freshman for Boston College’s women’s team 11 years ago, found the adjustment a little overwhelming at times. And she had a good support system at BC, playing for Coach Cathy Inglese.
Marshall married Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who she met while both were at BC. Not to jump to conclusions, but Clement sat with former Cony High quarterback Ben Lucas at the Maine Sunday Telegram’s All-Sports luncheon last Sunday. The two have been dating. Lucas, named Maine’s male high school Athlete of the Year, will attend the University of Maine.
• Angel Elderkin, the former University of Southern Maine guard at about the time Cindy Blodgett played for Joanne McCallie at Maine, was interested in the head coaching job at Boston University.
Elderkin has been an assistant on a number Division I staffs, including LSU, where she is now, as well as Virginia, Tennessee and Siena. BU chose Kady Steding instead. Steding asked Blodgett to join her.
Elderkin grew up in Rhode Island, where Blodgett was an assistant at the state university. Inglese left BC for URI and hired Blodgett after Cindy was fired at Maine in 2011. Inglese couldn’t turn around a moribund women’s program and was let go. Which meant her staff wouldn’t be retained.