Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Remembering George Rodecker

January 8, 2016 Columns No Comments

The holidays with all the running about and festivities are in the rear view mirror. In basketball circles, the conference play is upon us as non-league action is in the books. With the excitement of this part of the season comes a sadness and emptiness. George Rodecker, a good friend of ours and many, is no longer with us.

George passed away on Christmas Eve following an illness culminating with several weeks in the hospital. He was two days shy of his 65th birthday.

In later years health was an issue. George may have slowed down a bit on the coverage scene but not in enthusiasm. When we met two decades ago he was publishing a four-page draft report. Prospects were ranked by position and it proved to be both comprehensive and well-written. While the draft was his passion, George also loved the college game.

In recent seasons he developed a love and appreciation for the women’s game. The women played a bit below the rim and at a slower tempo. Especially enticing was their teamwork, adherence to fundamentals and sportsmanship. George’s ‘local’ team was Marist. It proved to be an advantageous and special time to follow the Red Foxes, as Brian Giorgis was in Poughkeepsie reversing the fortunes of a moribund program. Recognizing his expertise, he was a member of several women’s award committees.

Beside his newsletter, George wrote for a number of publications and sites, including Hoopville. I had the good fortune to collaborate with him on several articles.

Beside the love of the game and outstanding coverage, to yours truly George will be missed as a friend and colleague. Many times we drove in and later took NJ Transit to Madison Square Garden. Those journeys were the best of times, usually punctuated with coffee (always) and a good cigar (occasionally).

Road trips were sometimes classified as legendary. Back in 2000, George studied the local New York-New Jersey area schedules and came up with a way to cover four games on a Saturday in January. Off we went in his car with the license plate ‘HOOPLA’ (the name of his newsletter). First stop was Boston College at St. John’s in a Big East game (yes, the Eagles resided in the Big East back then). Next it was down the New Jersey Turnpike for Miami at Rutgers. Another Big east encounter, and once again, both schools resided in that conference back in the day. Then, there was the road up the Turnpike to St. Francis (PA) at FDU. After that contest it was a few miles down route 17 to Continental Airlines Arena. Seton Hall hosted West Virginia. The day beginning with a 9 a.m. departure from my Lyndhurst, NJ home ended just after 11 p.m. Four games and countless cups of Starbucks. I can’t remember who won all of the four contests, but do recall it was a classic experience.

Not every road trip measured up to that experience. That is a tough standard to measure up to. The many times traveling and/or covering games together, though, were special and are embedded as precious memories.

George loved basketball and other sports; he was a devout Chicago Cubs fan. He was first and foremost a family man and one of devoted faith. He remarried a few years ago and would travel to games with his wife Daria.

Life goes on. The season is progressing and conference races are starting to take shape, gaining a life of their own. There is still a void in our lives. An emptiness. During these weeks it is hard to deal with the fact George is not with us. Not just as trusted colleague, but a dear, close friend. We lament his loss. Yet we take solace in remembering the smile, enthusiasm and dear friendship he shared with so many.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we touch on a number of issues affecting conferences like Conference USA, as well as a big loss for Creighton, less mystery in Arizona, and more on the ACC as we look forward to the weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 12, 2017

January 12, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a short stint in the top spot of the polls, some developments in the Mountain West Conference, and more of the ACC before closing with the Big East and Atlantic 10.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the great games Kentucky has been a part of lately. We go on to other ACC matters involving arch rivals, as well as some quick hits and a conference race that should be as good as expected.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 16, 2016

December 16, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a coaching legend reaching a milestone, the defending champs looking very good and continuing their winning ways close to home, and some off-court news during a light week of game action.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 29, 2016

November 29, 2016 by

Early season tournaments are the focus in this episode, with a look at how strong a few Big East teams are out of the gate and how strong the ACC could be. Plus one SEC team had a big week outside the scope of tournaments.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.