Appreciative Clinton gives Lycoming student-athletes a memory
Lycoming men’s basketball coach Don Friday gave his players a questionnaire to fill out before the season, planning to print their answers in the school’s media guide.
Friday’s first question was, “Who is your favorite United States president?” Four answered Bill Clinton, the president of their childhood.
Last weekend, Clinton visited Lycoming for a political rally, and while waiting for his appearance in the school’s basketball gymnasium, the former chief executive was handed a copy of the media guide and found a note from Friday pointing to the players’ responses to the question.
The four players -- juniors Jemayne Nowlin, Greg Sye and Anthony Watson and sophomore Billy Goodell -- now possess copies of the media guide autographed by Clinton and inscribed, respectively: “Thanks Jemayne! Thanks Greg! Thanks Anthony! Thanks Billy!”
The former president also left behind an autographed ball for the coach.
“When I found out Clinton would be using our office area before he spoke, I left him a note, pointing out the media guides,” said Friday, who also had alerted Lycoming’s director of student programs, Larry Mannolini, about the players’ answers. Mannolini passed word about the guides along to Clinton aides.
“Sometimes the most unexpected surprises are the best gifts,” Friday said. “This is something nice that these guys can show their kids and grandkids, that a former president took the time to sign their guides. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
In that preseason questionnaire, Friday also asked his players, “What does it mean to be an NCAA student-athlete?” The answers:
Sye: “One of a few, it’s an honor.
Watson: “It’s a great feeling knowing that everyday I represent myself, my school and my family.
Nowlin: “To be on the next level; a level on the way to being an adult in the world.”
Goodell: “It is a great honor to have people look up to me, like the children I teach at basketball camps.”
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association