Wednesday, February 29, 2012

GW Basketball All-Stars, Episode 4: The Case of the Cursed Jersey

Written by Don Pitz.  Illustrations by Seth Melton.  Seth Melton is available for hire.  You can find more of his work at

The George Washington University Men’s College Basketball All Stars work every day to spread the joy of basketball.  They encourage others to live an active lifestyle with proper nutrition.  The League of Bad Guys is dedicated to bring chaos and evil.  They know the power of basketball is the greatest force of good in this world, and could bring us peace and prosperity.  Who will win this struggle?

Last episode, The League of Bad Guys went back in time to try to get Kurtis Blow to write a rap song about how he hated basketball.  That matter has since been resolved.

The GW Basketball All Stars are writing in their food journals at the Fortress of Basketball-tude.  Their neighbor Gary enters without knocking on the door.  "Hey, GW All Stars!  It's your crrrazy neighbor!" says Gary.  The All Stars cheer, happy to see their friend again. “Say, Pops.  I was exercising, and I think I injured my mattah ewe.”

“What’s a mattah ewe?” asks Pops Mensah-Bonsu.

“Nothing. What’s the matter with you?” asks Gary.  They all laugh together.  Gary exits.

The ghost of Yinka Dare appears before them.  “GW All Stars, the world needs your help!  Kopriva is in trouble.”

“What’s a Kopriva?” asks Pops Mensah-Bonsu.

“Oh, Pops” says Mike Hall. “Kopriva isn’t a thing.  John Kopriva is a Freshman Forward on GW’s basketball team.  What happened to Kopriva?”

“I’ve invited him to explain the problem”, says the Ghost of Yinka Dare.  John Kopriva enters.

“Hey, GW All Stars, it’s a real honor to meet you all.  I hope one day I can join your squad.  I’m about to head to a road game at Cal, but there’s a problem with my jersey.  It’s been whispering to me, telling me to do bad things”, says John Kopriva.

“What kind of bad things?” asks Mike Brown.

“Well, it was telling me all day yesterday that I should hang out with Attila Cosby,” says John Kopriva.

“Why would it be bad to hang out with Attila Cosby?” asks Pops Mensah-Bonsu.  Shawnta Rogers whispers something in his ear.  “Oh… wow.  Never mind”, says Pops Mensah-Bonsu.

“Today, it’s been telling me that I should pass the ball to Jabari Edwards.  If I go to the Cal game and do stuff like that, we’re going to lose.  What should I do?” asks John Kopriva.

Mike Brown says, “Well, first off:  You’re going to need to leave your jersey with us.  You’ll need to wear some other jersey to the Cal game.”

“But this is my lucky jersey!” says John Kopriva.

“Trust me, there is nothing lucky about hanging out with Atilla Cosby”, says Shawnta Rogers.  John Kopriva hands over the jersey and exits.  “Alright, GW All Stars, it looks like we have to exorcize a demon.”

“Not quite a demon, but you’re close,” says the ghost of Yinka Dare.  “John Kopriva is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Milwaukee is Algonquin for ‘The Good Land’.  I think somebody embued his jersey with an Algonquin spirit.  I don’t want to bore everyone with all the details, but you need to go to the spirit world of Algonquin mysticism.”

“How are we supposed to do that?” asks Mike Hall.

“Well, the good news is getting to the spirit world of Alqonquin mysticism is the easy part,” says the ghost of Yinka Dare.  “I’ve invited Religion Professor Dewey Wallace from GW.  He’ll explain how you can go to the spirit world of Algonquin mysticism.”

The Professor enters and teaches them how they can go to the spirit world of Algonquin mysticism.

Meanwhile, at the lair of the League of Bad Guys, they’re all talking about how they hate John Kopriva.

“I hate Kopriva because he not respect Triad,” says Mr. Kim.

“I hate Kopriva because he gave up football to play basketball,” says Comrade Chaos, in her thick Soviet accent.

“Grongo smash John Kopriva,” says the mindless oaf Grongo.

“Yes, well… I think we can stop worrying about John Kopriva,” says Number One Bad Guy.  “I’ve got wonderful news.  I’ve discovered how we can conjure an Algonquin spirit.”

"What good that do?" asks Mr. Kim.

"What good WILL that do," corrects Number One Bad Guy.  “I’ve imbued a spirit to Kopriva’s jersey.  I’ve commanded the spirit to whisper to Kopriva to do bad things, like hang out with Attila Cosby.”

“What so bad about hanging out with Attila Cosby?” asks Mr. Kim.  Comrade Chaos whispers something in his ear. “Oh, wow… never mind.”

“John Kopriva will give in to the spirit’s powers of suggestion.  He’ll start doing bad things and it will completely discredit GW’s basketball team.  The world will be ours!  It's really a foolproof plan.  The best part is the GW All Stars can't do anything about it."  They all laugh maniacally together.

The GW All Stars arrive at the spirit world of Algonquin mysticism.  It looks like a meeting place by the water.  They see former Native American basketball stars, like Jessie “Cab” Renich, Clyde “Chief” James, SuAnne Big Crow and Jim Thorpe.  They also see Chief Henry, Zach Morris’ tutor from the Saved by the Bell episode “Running Zach.”  They approach Chief Henry.

“Excuse us, Chief Henry, but we’re looking for a spirit that has taken over a basketball jersey to do evil things,” says Mike Brown.

“GW All-Stars!  It’s great to see you here.  I think the spirit you are looking for is the one known as Chief Slapaho.  He’s always up to no good.  Look for the room that looks like you made it backstage at an Alice Cooper concert.  You’ll find him there,” says Chief Henry.

The GW All-Stars encounter many strange things on their journey, far beyond our own comprehension.  They finally see Chief Slapaho, speaking to a spirit form of Kopriva’s jersey.  He is whispering “Eat red meat with every meal.”

“Chief Slapaho!  Your reign of terror ends now,” yells Mike Hall.  “We command you to leave Kopriva’s jersey at once!”

“Ahh… the GW All-Stars.  You are like the breath of a buffalo in the winter,” says Chief Slapaho.  “You are not in the position to command anything.  I say we leave this up for the Great Spirit to decide.  I will gather my team of famous American Indian basketball players, along with Chief Henry, to play you in a game of Rez Ball.  If you win, I will give up Kopriva’s jersey forever.  If you lose, you will stay in our spirit world and entertain us for all eternity.”

The GW All-Stars accept his challenge.  In the locker room before the game, they discuss their strategy and try to figure out who they can recruit as their fifth player. Former GW basketball player Chris Monroe enters the room.

“Chris Monroe!  What are you doing here?” asks Shawnta Rogers.

“I travel to spirit worlds a lot.  It’s fun!” says Chris Monroe.  “Mind if I play with you guys?”

Will the GW All-Stars banish the spirit of Chief Slapaho from John Kopriva’s jersey?  Will they spend the rest of eternity stuck in the Algonquin spirit world?  Will anybody get my “Saved by the Bell” reference?  Find out next time!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hey! Senior Night is Wednesday. Celebrate Tony, Jabari, Aaron and Michael

Senior Night is this Wednesday, and it's a great opportunity to celebrate one of the best point guards GW's had in a long time, Tony Taylor. Do-it-all forward Aaron Ware is also a senior, as is big man Jabari Edwards and walk-on Michael Conward.

The game is against a pretty good La Salle team who have lost 5 of their last 6, so it should be a good game.

So get your tickets!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Important info for GW vs St. Joe's -- get there early, Orange line closure, more

GW just sent out a bunch of useful info for the Homecoming game Saturday against St. Joe's -- aka the #HawkHunt:

Colonials Fans -
We hope you're as excited as we are for the #HawkHunt and Homecoming 2012. We're welcoming men's basketball alumni, recognizing 2012 GW Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees Chris Monroe and Shawnta Rogers, and hosting the Saint Joseph's Hawks for a big A-10 game Saturday afternoon. There will be no shortage of memories. 

Here are a few useful reminders that we hope will make a great game even better for you:
Get to the game early. An especially large crowd is expected for tomorrow's game, meaning that there will likely be fewer parking spaces than normal and longer lines at the box office and will call entrances. Club members are encouraged to enter the Smith Center via the lower ramp at the 23rd and G Street entrance, and season ticket holders with tickets in hand are encouraged to bypass lines and use the upper ramp at 23rd and G Streets NW. 

Tip-Off is at 4pm. Please be mindful of this unique start time for this Saturday's game. 

Be mindful of Metro Orange Line closures. There will be no orange line service between Rosslyn and Virginia Square this weekend. Trains will be replaced by shuttle buses between those two stations. Visit the WMATA website for more details. 

Finally, GW Athletics is proud to support the Clinton Global Initiative and the GW + Phones = Hope campaign. We encourage you to bring your old cell phones to the game. There will be phone collection bins at all entrances of the Smith Center tomorrow for you to help the university's effort to collect 20,000 phones to help fund child and maternal health projects in Africa. 

Thanks as always for your support of the Colonials. With three home games to go, we look forward to you showing our opponents what it means to Raise High the Buff & Blue.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Put GW on your Facebook or Twitter picture!

This is pretty cool: GW just got a "twibbon" or little GW icon you can drop on your Facebook or Twitter pictures. The image hypes the Homecoming game on Saturday, and it's very easy to add, just go to the site and add it.

Nice to see this kind of clever, easy, quick stuff by the athletic department.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Homecoming is the 18th versus St. Joe's, tix are going fast

Do you like GW basketball? Do you want GW to beat St. Joe's?

Hopefully you answered yes to both of those, and in that case, buy tickets to GW's homecoming game! Enter the promo code HOMECOMING for $10 seats.

There will be a bunch of former GW players in the stands as well, like incoming Hall of Fame members Chris Monroe and Shawnta Rogers (and to toot my own horn, I nominated Shawnta to be in the Hall! One person's activism can make a difference.)

The game is this Saturday at 4 pm, and the first 750 fans get a "100 years in Foggy Bottom" pennant, which is pretty cool. GW moved from Columbia Heights and other locations around town to Foggy Bottom in 1912. Here's more events about the 100th anniversary and the great GW Encyclopedia (including all the former campuses).

Friday, February 10, 2012

Why doesn't GW get more Washington Post coverage? The Post responds

The other day, I was reading Twitter incessantly about GW (I am one of those nerds who tweets constantly during games -- see @colonialhoops) and noticed something: the Washington Post had an official Twitter for George Mason hoops: @GMUWashPost.

Good for Mason, but that got me thinking: why not an official Post Twitter for GW? GWUWashPost? We've been more of a player for longer, as they only became a big name after some good seasons and the Final Four with Coach Jim Larranaga.

So not expecting a response, I asked the @GMUWashPost Twitter why, and here's the conversation. GW fan Sean Rose got into the act too. So in short, a full arena and better record. That's a bit like the chicken and the egg, but at least we know. And we can do it -- in the past, there were often sellouts at the Smith Center.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Uçtu Uçtu Pops Uçtu: Here is Pops dunking like crazy in Turkey

I have no idea what "Uçtu Uçtu Pops Uçtu" means in Turkish, but I assume it means something to the effect of "Awesome Awesome Pops Awesome." Here's the King Whale Killer throwing one down in Turkey. He is also rocking some shades.

Here's the video.

Pops has played for Besitkas, one of the biggest Turkish teams, since December, and he's averaging 13.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Adam Morrison from Gonzaga (and from goofy mustache) plays on the team too.

(via Pops' Facebook page)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Refs: this is a foul

Here's Bryan Bynes getting his jersey pulled trying to make a last-second layup for the win against Xavier. Pretty sure you can't do that. No call, GW misses putbacks, Xavier wins.

Here's the video where you can briefly see it (it's obscured a bit.) The video also shows Tu Holloway's travel (or what sure looks like a travel.) You can see the fans' immediate reactions to Tu too.

  <a href='' target='_new' title='Highlights: Xavier nips George Washington 59-58' >Video: Highlights: Xavier nips George Washington 59-58</a>

Thanks to somebody on GWHoops for finding the photo.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Xavier tonight! Buff Out!

Also, if you wear a jacket, keep it on during the player introductions -- then when Tu Holloway is announced, unzip and zip it: Tu said that after the big Cincinnati brawl, "we got a whole bunch of gangsters in our locker room. Not thugs, but tough guys on the court. We went out there and zipped em up at the end of the game. That’s our motto — zip ‘em up.”

You can get college basketball tickets here.