Some interviews are challenging, requiring persistent prodding to get the subject to open up and share something interesting.
My interview with Phil Martelli was not like this at all. Martelli, the former long-time head coach at Saint Joseph’s who is in his first year as an assistant on Juwan Howard’s staff at Michigan, is one of the best storytellers in college basketball.
Here is my story on Martelli, who for the first time in a quarter century is not the head coach, and for the first time in his life is not living in the Philadelphia area.
Phil Martelli: ‘The Godfather’ who has brought a taste of Philly to Michigan basketball
It’s been a while since my last update. I thought I’d sent one in December, but it never published, so today’s post will include several stories from this, my third season covering the Michigan basketball team for MLive/The Ann Arbor News.
The first is about a recent addition to the team, Brandon Wade, an Ann Arbor native whose dad needed a liver transplant a few years ago and is grateful to be alive to watch his son play college basketball.
Here are some others that might appeal to a non-Michigan audience:
Up close and personal with Juwan Howard for a game
How Michigan and Kentucky agreed to play a game in London
A former Michigan football player joined the Marines
You can find all my stories on my personal MLive page. You can also download MLive’s UM Hoops app to your phone. I’ve got a story about one of the more entertaining personalities in college basketball, Michigan assistant Phil Martelli, coming this week.
Thanks for reading!
In a topic that will strike a chord with many of the readers here, I wrote about the fight songs at Michigan and Notre Dame. Determining whether one song is better than another is impossible, but that didn’t stop me from trying.
I also did some digging into the brief acting career of Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard, who appeared on TV shows such as “Hang Time” and “The West Wing.” I spoke to some of the actors on the show to learn more about his time on set.
I had fun writing both of these stories and hope you enjoy reading them!
Michigan vs. Notre Dame: Which school has the better fight song?
A history of Juwan Howard’s acting career
Hello, readers. I’ll try to do a better job of distributing my “bigger” stories through here on a more regular basis.
Today’s is about Camaron Cheeseman. He is the long snapper for the Michigan football team. He doesn’t play any other position. He just throws the ball backwards between his legs several times a game.
His path to Michigan and how he improved in his role — which could possibly carry him to the NFL — are detailed in my story, which you can read here.
Michigan football long snapper strives to be anonymous — and that’s a good thing
If you’ve watched a Michigan basketball home game in the past decade, you may have wondered about the elderly gentleman sitting courtside, in the first seat next to head coach John Beilein.
I know I did. Turns out, it’s Al Glick, a wildly successful businessman and a proud support of the University of Michigan. I had a great chat with Mr. Glick, 92, at a recent game.
You can read the story at MLive.
Look for Al Glick during tonight’s game against Nebraska (7:00, ESPN). It is Michigan’s final home game of the season, and Charles Matthews will be honored as part of the Senior Night ceremony. From Kentucky to Ann Arbor, it’s been quite the college career for Matthews.
Recently I shared a story I wrote about Michigan basketball assistant coach Luke Yaklich. I followed it up with a story on another assistant, DeAndre Haynes, the youngest coach on John Beilein’s staff. Haynes serves as an older brother figure and the “good cop” on the staff, all while helping to direct Michigan’s offense.
I was in Iowa when Michigan took just its second loss of the season. The Wolverines are learning how to play with a target on their backs.
In the prior game, point guard Zavier Simpson recorded just the sixth triple-double in program history. Here’s a look at how he did it.
Also, a story I wrote after last season’s national championship took first place in the “sports writing” category in the Michigan Press Association’s annual contest, beating out Mitch Albom’s story from the Super Bowl. Here’s the story: “John Beilein, Michigan, and the daunting task of calming a national championship loser“
Jude Stamper, 13, was born with a variety of health conditions, including a joint disorder that makes it nearly impossible for him to walk. He joined the Michigan basketball team before last season and attends games, practices, film sessions, and team meals.
Learn more about his relationship with the players and coaches, and the benefits of his association with the team, in my latest story for MLive.