Don't talk, what you don't know
It irritates me no end when people talk about me, when they don’t know me. Keep my name outta your mouth.
Same goes for my city. People at something called “WalletHub” have issued a report about the best cities in the United States for college basketball. Just as there’s a “best,” on the other end, there’s a “worst.” In the view of this esteemed (tongue in cheek) group of wallet hubbers, Clinton is the fifth worst city in the U.S. for college basketball.
That’s bologna. I can say that because my father sold bologna. More than 40 years for Oscar Mayer. I know bologna when I see it. Clinton, these people say, is the fifth worst city in the U.S. for college basketball because the Presbyterian College men’s team won five games this past season. The Blue Hose men have won 26 games in the past three seasons.
Man, I’d hate the see the four teams “below” Clinton.
WalletHub has all kinds of “criteria” for judging the worst college basketball cities, and I’m not going into all that. The same group posted three South Carolina cities as the fattest in America recently. The same group posted that the District of Columbia is the most techno-advanced cities in the United States, and West Virginia is the most techno-unadvanced state in the U.S. I guess they have some statistical stuff that tells them that. But it’s kind of a “Duh.” The seat of our federal government has a lot of technology. Good to know. A state that’s mostly mountains is the most techno-challenged. Go figure.
The report about the “worst” basketball cities in the country wound up on the Greenwood Index-Journal website, for some reason. Seems to me they would have looked on the list, found Greenwood and written about Lander’s basketball teams - but, hey, that’s just me. People at PC didn’t want to comment on it because they didn’t know anything about it. The wallet hubbing survey I’m talking about, not basketball.
Truth is, PC knows a lot about basketball. It knows the Bronze Derby got stolen at a Newberry-Presbyterian basketball game, and that’s how it became a football trophy. It knows what it’s like to win The Little Four. It knows what it’s like to beat Cincinnati. It knows what it’s like to last off-season send its best scorer to Auburn. Its women’s program knows what it’s like to send the head coach off to Campbell, and have him named this season’s Big South Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year. It knows what it’s like to see your point guard go down with a foot injury - then see him playing again this season. It knows what it’s like to transition into NCAA Division I, primarily to increase the revenue of football, with the other sports coming along. PC knows what it’s like to win - and lose.
Most of all, PC - and Clinton - knows Gregg and Peggy Nibert. We know they nurture the smallest of the small foster children, and nurse them back to health. We know their sons, Shawn and Van, are so very proud of their parents, and the feeling is mutual. We know that the Niberts were honored by the NCAA for their work, and Peggy spoke to the NCAA basketball coaches wives at an event in Indianapolis. They have won other recognition, most recently from Duke Energy presented at January’s Laurens County Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.
PC knows that Gregg Nibert’s team lost to Duke and, post-game, he talked about foster babies, until he teared up and couldn’t go on. Did “the best” college basketball team/city coach do that?
The new athletic director at PC is going to have a decision to make about men’s basketball. Our former AD is now at Lander making those kinds of decisions, and it’s great to see him “moving up.” Nibert is a couple seasons away from 30 directing PC men’s basketball, and he and his players and coaches through the years have topped 400 wins. Gregg is quick to observe that in those wins, he did not score one single basket. Teams sports, after all, are all about the players.
With WalletHub publishing such a know-nothing, good-for-nothing report, I wish I attended more PC basketball games this past season. I bet WalletHub doesn’t know, or care, that the Clinton High boys basketball team played for the Upper State Championship in 2017, or that the Red Devil girls played for Upper State in 2012. It doesn’t know that a basketball legacy group raises money to send Clinton players to summer camp. It doesn’t know that PC plays host to one of the most well-respected summer programs anywhere - and that gyms all over Clinton are filled, every summer, with players working to get better. Some of them even land in “the best” college basketball cities in the United States. So, WalletHub, our basketball environment might be one of “the worst,” but it is ours. Go somewhere else, talk about someone else. Or don’t, we could care less.
Just don’t talk what you don’t know.
(Vic MacDonald is Editor of The Clinton Chronicle. His columns appear in The Chronicle and in blogs at MyClintonNews.com. Reach him at 833-1900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)