The good folks over at Sporting ATL have struck again with yet another fantastic interview, this most recent one being with Brandon Gaudin, the voice of the Yellow Jackets. Gaudin arrived in 2013 and was immediately tasked with the huge role of replacing Georgia Tech legend Wes Durham, and has done so admirably -- it is always a pleasure to hear him calling Georgia Tech sports. His call of the The Kick and The Pick is absolutely fantastic and is only a small sample size of the great work he has done so far on the Flats.
Georgia Tech basketball picked up a fantastic win over the weekend when they defeated the SEC's Vanderbilt Commodores 65-60 behind a solid overall team effort and one gigantic dunk by Robert Sampson. The Jackets jumped out to a big early lead but fell behind later in the first half, taking a 33-25 deficit with them to the locker room. The second half was very competitive and featured a late Tech rally which saw the Jackets close out Vandy, avenging their loss to the Commodores last season in Nashville.
Now, back to that Robert Sampson dunk I mentioned earlier. It came in the second half off of a fast-break pass from Travis Jorgenson and ended with the humiliation of Vanderbilt's James Siakam. Video can't really do the play justice (especially considering that it sparked the Tech offense), but it was a fantastic #sampsmash nonetheless. I'm sure Ralph is smiling down on his son from up there, and when I say up there I just mean from whatever level of the atmosphere his head resides in while he's standing. Ralph Sampson is a tall human, ladies and gentlemen.
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I'll leave you today with a nice preview from an upcoming book about Georgia Tech great Roger Kaiser, the basketball star whose jersey #21 currently resides in the rafters at McCamish Pavilion.
"If It Feels Like Leather, Shoot It" is the biography of Roger Kaiser — Georgia Tech's first All-American basketball player. It should be available online in February 2015 and in selected bookstores soon after that. Written by Richard Hyatt, a former sports writer in Atlanta and Columbus and the author of 14 books, it will tell the story of a schoolboy legend from Dale, Indiana who at Tech played on the Yellow Jackets first NCAA teams in basketball and baseball. After two seasons as a sharpshooter in the short lived American Basketball Association he became head freshman coach at Tech before taking the head job at Decatur High School. He spent 20 years at West Georgia College where he was the first college coach in the state to win a national title. Later, at Life University, he won three more NAIA championships. His life sounds like a fairytale but it has not been without setbacks. He lost a daughter to cancer and has survived two bouts with the disease himself. These days he is athletic director at Mt. Bethel Christian Academy in Cobb County where he coaches the middle school boys team. Much of his time is spent raising funds and awareness for the Lexi Foundation, which supports children in need, including his granddaughter Lexi Kaiser. He is married to his high school sweetheart, the former Beverly Hevron."
Kaiser had one of the best careers in Tech history -- he led the SEC in scoring twice and led the Jackets to their first ever NCAA tournament berth in 1960, finishing his career with 1,628 points.
How big was Georgia Tech's win over Vanderbilt? What did it teach us about the character of this team?
Have a great Monday!