Thursday, April 9

More on Marvin Webster

Two more well-written stories about the late Marvin Webster appeared today, and both are well worth the time to read.

The first comes from the great Harvey Araton at the New York Times. Especially moving is this snippet:

At the time, I was the Knicks beat reporter for The New York Post. To celebrate, in part, and to interview him for an article, I took him to lunch in Chinatown. He mostly wanted to talk about his son, who, he said, would play in the N.B.A., just like him.

The second comes from Ken Murray, at the Baltimore Sun. Murray's story explores the lives that Webster touched as a collegiate star for Morgan State University, and how tragedy seemed to find him far too often. Murray also lets us know that Marvin's father, Edward Webster, passed away in February, which could not have helped the son's mental state any.

I can't help but feel for Marvin's mother, who is still alive. She's already lost a teenaged grandchild more than a decade ago, and now, within the span of two months, she's lost her husband and her son. Time may heal all wounds, but don't try telling Dorothy Webster that this Easter.

7 comments:

Sweva said...

I was the 9-year-old kid whose family lived next door to Marvin Webster in Bellevue when he was playing for the Sonics. Our families were close during that year, and my folks would go out to dinner with Marvin and his family and visit quite a bit.

Marvin gave me a pair of John Wooden basketball sneakers right before he left for New York, and I wore those for two seasons when I started playing organized basketball ~ blocking shots as my team’s center, partly in Marvin’s honor. My Dad was the coach of the team. Marvin Webster’s inspiration began a domino effect that lasted a lifetime.

After Marvin left for New York, we would flag him down at games and chat, and on a couple occasions he called us when he was passing through town, and he’d ask to speak with me. He and I had a special bond and I think he knew how devastated I was when he left Seattle. I guess that’s part of the ugly side of the sports business, but hard to understand when you’re as young as I was at the time.

With all of the insensitive stories circulating out there about Marvin and his death, my letter is intended to make him more human, and uphold the great character of someone who was very thoughtful of others and as kind and gentle a person as he was awesome and formidable on the court.

I’m sad that I never got to tell him about these things in person, and the great effect that he had on our family.

If you want to read more of my thoughts on Marvin, I've posted something at my blog, http://swevashtick.blogspot.com/

nuss said...

Thanks for the insight into Marvin's character, Sweva. As John Greenleaf Whittier wrote, "For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been."

I can't help but wonder what might have been had Marvin and Sam Schulman managed to come to an understanding in the summer of 1978...

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