TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
Tuesday, April 9,
A final look back at
BRAIN BAILEY SHOW
Monday night's BRIAN BAILEY SHOW.
Brian's guests were ECU senior basketball
players Miguel Paul and Maurice
Kemp, network color analyst Si
Seymour and Farmville Central AD
Larry Williford. Eastern North Carolina's longest running
sports radio call-in show airs each Monday
night from 6:30-7:30 on Pirate Radio 1250 and
Pirate Radio Home
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Mobile Alpha version of this page.
Even at 4:30 a.m.!
a wild scene last Wednesday morning
when East Carolina’s CIT championship squad championship squad returned
from Ogden, Utah, with that title in hand.
A couple hundred
Pirate fans, ECU students and support staff either stayed up all night
or got up very early to welcome the Pirates home. It was a scene that
reminded me of the Peach Bowl on that first day of January in 1992, when
I was on the team charter returning from Atlanta after the greatest win
in ECU football history.
This was basketball,
where any kind of success has been near impossible to come by.
This year, however,
Jeff Lebo and the Pirates gave us a March run to remember in what many
hope will be a stepping stone to conference titles and NCAA appearances.
Coach Lebo was stunned
upon his arrival back from Utah.
Lebo said. “It’s 4:30 in the morning (and) we’ve got a packed housed
here. It’s just overwhelming for our kids and our program and we
couldn’t have done it without this group of people and the Pirate
Nation. We had a lot of games at home and we don’t win those games
without their help.
"It’s so nice to see
them come out and give us a chance to thank them for their help.”
Maurice Kemp showed
the type of class act that he is during the five-game championship
streak. Kemp won MVP honors for the tournament and was most humble in
“This whole postseason
has been incredible,” said Kemp. “I really feel like we reached our
potential as a team coming down the stretch. We played so hard the whole
year and for it to pay off like this is just incredible. We worked so
hard. We were so close as a family. ... To share this experience with my
brothers, I couldn’t think of a better way to end my career.”
Akeem Richmond took
the “shot heard round the Pirate Nation.” His three-pointer as time
expired was the game winner in
a thrilling 77-74 win over Weber State
in that CIT title game.
Richmond had struggled
in his past couple of games. When it counted, he found nothing but net.
Despite the struggles,
Richmond took that last shot with plenty of confidence.
“My Dad always told me
to shoot with confidence,” Richmond said. “If you look at the tape, you
can see me running down the court after I shot it because I knew it was
Lebo decided not to
think too much about the future after the CIT run.
“We’re just going to
enjoy the moment right now,” he said. “We’ll think about the future here
in the next couple of days. We’re just trying to soak it in and my wife
tells me to smile and enjoy it and that’s what I’m going to try and do
the next couple of days.”
That smile on Lebo’s
face may stay for a while.
“I kind of felt like
the late, great Jimmy Valvano with nobody to hug,” said Lebo. “It was an
exciting game for us (to win) on the road in that environment. They had
an unbelievable environment to play in — 10,600 people there. (It) was
really sweet for our team.”
Sweet for the Pirate
Nation as well and hopefully just the start of much success in hoops for
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04/09/2013 01:46 AM