Post Classifieds

My connection to basketball's elite

By Jac Culpo
On September 27, 2017

In case you weren’t paying attention, this past homecoming weekend Castleton had a professional basketball coach on campus for a hall of fame induction. Don’t worry, I’m not here to tell you about the induction, I think I covered that pretty well in the adjacent article I wrote.

Instead I’m going to write about my connection to the Van Gundy family.

In order to find out as much information as I could about the Van Gundy’s I had to request the help of my parents. Although, to be fair to them, they are the entire reason I have a connection to begin with.

For those of you who don’t know, my dad is the current head basketball coach for the men’s basketball team here at CU (as a disclaimer my dad is as sarcastic as someone can be when he isn’t coaching). My mom is here too, a health education professor and much less sarcastic than my dad.

Both of them actually know Stan’s dad, Bill Van Gundy. In fact, they get anniversary cards from Bill and his wife every year, and always right on time. My dad jokes that they remember the important dates in our life better than we do, and it might be true.

I receive birthday cards, and recently I got a card for graduating high school.

My mom will always make sure to tell you she knew Bill before my dad did. She was an athletic trainer at Genesee Community College in New York at the same time that Bill was the head basketball coach there, so they had interacted on multiple occasions.

Of course, my dad then started coaching under him at GCC as well. In fact, my parents actually met for the first time ever at Genesee, so you could almost thank the Van Gundy family in a way for my parents’ marriage.

I, like many others, have wondered where my dad developed his habit of being colorful (I could use a different word, but it wouldn’t be paper friendly) on the sidelines of games. And as it would turn out, Stan Van Gundy is also a VERY colorful person on the sideline. As he so eloquently put it, “I am not a joy bringer, I know that.”

So, it’s a safe bet that they both got it from a similar source (looking at you Bill).

I could probably fill 30 pages or more of just stories about Bill, but I’d rather move on to my connection to Stan specifically. My dad was an assistant coach at UMass Amherst when I was super young.

There was this one workaholic of a student manager for the team. His name was Adam. He would watch film for hours, he babysat me, and he almost always had a toothpick in his mouth.

Now Adam is working under Stan as almost a second in command type of position in Detroit. We still see him every now and then and it’s great to hear about the NBA from the inside.

Yeah, I have a few odd connections to the Van Gundy family and I couldn’t be happier about it.

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