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One day he calls me and tells me he got me an interview at Rutgers and that I was of six guys to get an interview. He said he told the AD that if he interviewed me he would hire me. I went only because he opened the door for me. If I didn’t get that chance I would still be coaching high school and teaching in an elementary school somewhere. He really went to bat for me. He helped so many people in basketball.”

Garfinkel looks nothing like a sports power broker. If you had to guess, the small man with black-rimmed glasses and ever-present black suit appears to be a CPA or chemistry teacher, not someone who has done all he has. The only change in his appearance over the years is he no longer chain-smokes cigarettes. He has never driven a car, relying on rides from friends and “buses, lot of buses.”

“Damon Runyan would have loved him,” Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said. “He is one of the most unforgettable characters ever, not just in sports. You won’t meet another person like him. He has such a wit and he is one of the more literate guys I have ever met.

“He comes to practice, he’s kind of adopted us a little bit. He always took the road less traveled but his impact has been with Garf’s stable of coaches. You think of the eastern game as much as anything else. He is a really caring person who judges you all the time. Not many people love the game and the people around the game like he does.”

Garfinkel reels off the coaches who will be at his upcoming clinic, Michigan’s John Beilein, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon, Rutgers’ Mike Rice and St. John’s women’s coach Kim Barnes Arico.

And that gets him going on another list.

“The first Clinic to End All Clinics had Hubie Brown, the greatest clinician alive, dead or unborn. John Calipari, Billy Donovan, Bob Hurley Sr. and Rick Pitino,” he said, ready to go on and name every speaker he’s ever had.

He was asked if there was a favorite list and he rattled off the Five-Star campers who didn’t make it in basketball.

“As campers we had Cris Carter, Sam Clancy, Billy Cundiff, Delino Deshields, Jay Fielder, Tony Gonzalez, Scott Rolen, Wayne Chrebet and a kid named Alex Rodriguez,” he said with a huge smile. “Not bad, huh?”