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Alan Anderson is Final Four-bound!


By: Larry Fitzgerald
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Originally posted 3/30/2005 

 At the Men’s Big Ten Basketball Tournament in Chicago two weeks ago, Michigan State basketball star Alan Anderson, who shoots 88 percent from the free throw line, missed two critical free throws in the final seconds, with a chance to seal a victory against Iowa.

 It was one of those days — his team missed a total of 15 free throws in the loss. The memory of that painful missed opportunity helped fuel the Spartans to not let another opportunity like that slip away.

 Sunday, in double overtime, the former Minneapolis De La Salle Star redeemed himself, making four straight game clinching free throws in the final seconds. Anderson led the Spartans to a thrilling 94-88 double overtime upset win over Kentucky, and a trip to the NCAA Final Four in St. Louis.

 Reaching the NCAA Final Four is a major team accomplishment and the dream of most basketball players on playgrounds across the United States. Michigan State, North Carolina, No. 1 Illinois and Louisville will duel it out this weekend. The winner walks way with a National Championship.

 I have known Anderson and his family since he was a small child. He and my older son Larry, Jr., are best friends, so to recall listening to him talk about his dreams and to see him reach them makes me swell with pride.

 Anderson is on target to graduate this spring, with the prospect of a future in the NBA. I know his Mom Dorseen very well — she is a God-fearing woman who has done it the right way. She and my late wife Carol were really close. Dorseen has been there for our family.

 A single parent from Indianapolis, Dorseen has done a remarkable job of raising two outstanding young men and instilling the Christian values that have helped them stay on the right path to success.


Bob Casey will be missed

 He was the voice of Twins Baseball for 44 years. If you pause for a moment and close your eyes, you can hear the echo of his booming voice saying, “No smoking in the Metrodome” or, ”Numbers on the board are correct” after a Twins win or loss.

 I remember Bob Casey as a huge fan of the game of baseball. He was the public announcer (PA) for every game I’ve ever covered over 26 years. When I worked at another radio station in town years ago, he did the intro to our radio show. Our sincere sympathy is extended to the Casey family; baseball in the Twin Cities will never be the same.     


Timberwolves should consider Sam Mitchell

 If the Timberwolves are to continue their eight-year streak of making the NBA playoffs they will likely have to win all of their remaining games. And even if they make the playoffs, they will be heavy underdogs to either San Antonio or Phoenix in a first round playoff series. So the question is, will they be better off making the playoffs or being in the lottery long-term?

 Kevin McHale has done a good job on an interim basis since he replaced Flip Saunders, who was fired after 10 years. The organization will likely be looking for new leadership this summer.

 I think the Timberwolves should strongly consider former Timberwolves player and current Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell, if he becomes available. Mitchell knows the organization and commands respect from players. The Timberwolves will need a fresh start after this year of disappointment, and I say Mitchell is the man for the tough job ahead.


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