Wednesday, December 3, 2008


We originally wrote earlier this week that UNC-Asheville center Kenny George was not playing due to a partial amputation of his right foot as a result of an infection. We noted that George returned from the Pete Newell Big Man Camp in Las Vegas with the staph infection that was ultimately responsible his medical complications.

TAH was contacted by Roger Newell (the son of the late famous coach) who told us that George played one day and then "sat out with a leg problem he told my dad (before he passed away) had been bothering him for awhile." Pete Newell then told George to be sure to check with his team doctors immediately after returning to North Carolina.

According to the younger Newell, George stayed with a friend in Las Vegas and not with other campers at Camp hotel the entire time he was in Las Vegas. In addition Newell said there were no other players that suffered any injuries or staph infections at the camp.

TAH did not mean to infer that George had suffered the injury at Newell’s camp, but merely used the event to establish a timeline.

Pete Newell's record speaks for itself. He coached for 15 years at the University of San Francisco, Michigan State University and the University of California, Berkeley, compiling an overall record of 234 wins and 123 losses. He led the Cal Bears to the 1959 NCAA men's basketball championship, and a year later coached the gold medal-winning U.S. team at the 1960 Summer Olympics. After his coaching career ended, he ran the world-famous instructional basketball camp.

Players who have attended Newell’s camp include Shaquille O'Neal, Bill Walton, Hakeem Olajuwan, Scottie Pippen, Bernard King, James Worthy, Sean Elliott, Jermaine O'Neal, Tayshaun Prince, Kenyon Martin, Shawn Marion, Shawn Kemp, Antawn Jamison, A.C. Green, Horace Grant, Tyson Chandler, Mike Dunleavy Jr., and Kwame Brown among others.

In retrospect, Kwame should have gone a couple of times, but even Coach Pete couldn't make 'em all good…

Newell died November 17, 2008 at the age of 93.

(AP Photo by Dino Vournas)

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