There was a time in Kevin Mackey’s life when he could walk the streets of Cleveland and collect nearly as much notice as any of the city’s high-profile athletes.
He didn’t have Bernie Kosar’s arm, Albert Belle’s power to all fields or Steve Kerr’s dead-eye jumper.
Still, Mackey had done the virtually unfeasible, turning a downtown academic institution into a respected, even feared, men’s basketball program by filling his roster with young men who could relate.
Players from the inner city, whether that city was Cleveland, New York or some other area where concrete and asphalt dominate. Eighteen- and 19-year-olds who felt totally at home with their new coach’s Bostonian accent and pedal-to-the-metal approach to all phases of the sport they loved.