Bumped into Johnny Holliday the other day, and the eternal radio voice of the Maryland Terps told me a funny story. Seems when Johnny first met Mark Turgeon, the school’s new basketball coach, he broke the ice in a way Turgeon wasn’t expecting.
Johnny: I hear you roomed with Scooter Barry when you played at Kansas.
Turgeon: Yeah, I did.
Johnny: Well, Scooter’s my godson.
Johnny: Yeah. I roomed with Rick Barry and Larry Brown when they played for the Washington Capitols back in the ’60s.
Rick Barry, of course, is Scooter’s Hall of Fame father, and Brown was the Jayhawks’ coach when Scooter and Turgeon were at KU. Larry even gave Mark his first assistant’s job after he graduated in ’87.
Needless to say, this gave Johnny terrific street cred with Turgeon. He immediately became more – much more – than just Another Guy with a Microphone. But then, he always has been.
Johnny and Rick are still tight. Not long ago, Johnny received, via email, a photo of Rick holding what looks to be a striped bass. A very large striped bass. A striped bass that should probably be tested for steroids.
By the way, Johnny’s daughter, Dr. Kellie Smaldore, is the godmother of another of Rick’s sons, Jon (who, after a lengthy pro career, can now be seen on ABC’s and ESPN’s NBA broadcasts).
One more thing: Rick’s youngest son, Canyon, will be a senior next year at Cheyenne Mountain High in Colorado Springs, Colo. He’s reportedly 6-foot-4, can dunk with ease and is a terrific shooter – which shouldn’t surprise anyone who saw his Old Man pour in shots from all angles. The kid also has cleared 6 feet in the high jump. Wonder if Turgeon has any interest in him.