Tuesday, April 27, 2010

March Madness 1951....continued

By Irv Edelman

"Dear Ed,

Thank you for the update on our Central High class and the items that you included about me. Both of the latter are incomplete so let me fill in the blanks:

First of all, that infamous basketball game between Piedmont and AG; the final score of 2-0 was the official score of a forfeit. This is what happened:

My Piedmont team was missing 5 players who had measles and I worried about how I would play against George Powell being so short-handed. However, I need not have worried. George only knew one kind of defense to play..a 2-1-2 zone. Knowing that, and realizing that back in those days teams could hold the ball as long as they wanted to or as long as their opponents let them, I was reminded of that being a favorite play of the Carolina team.

Carson McClain could out jump any of the AG players so we figured on getting the tap, scoring the first basket, and then holding the ball.

George Powell liked to start a fast break off his zone defense and we could not run for a whole game. So, we were ahead 2-0 and I was nervous. I had not tried this before. But we got possession of the ball again, scored a basket, making it 4-0. This time we really were determined to hold the ball. George was furious! He called time out and came over to our bench. “Irv,” he said, “move that ball!!”
“The rules say I don’t have to. If you want the ball come get it.”
The time out cost him a technical foul and that made the score 5-0 and we kept possession. At this point,

Bobby Hord’s Dad came to the edge of the court and tried to get his son to sock somebody, but Bobby was not that type of kid.

“Irv,” George yelled, “if you don’t move the ball we are going home.”
I did not move the ball; George pulled his team off the court; and the referees declared the game forfeited.

Some of the boys probably don’t remember the details as well as I do because, after all, most of them were on the losing side.

As for the anecdotes relating to some of my wartime experiences, I should have been an officer, but I was called up before the end of the school year and had to go in as a private. The manpower shortage in 1943 was severe. My first battery commander was a Georgia Tech grad who saw that I got my diploma just before the Army finished processing me.

So, I went overseas as a corporal. We fought our way up the coast of New Guinea and made the landing at the Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines. At that point, 17 members of our outfit (197th AAA) had earned enough months overseas and combat time so that they got rotated back to their homes in New Hampshire.

My Battery Commander at that point was an Alabama grad. One of the rotated soldiers was our wonderful first sergeant, young, but wise. So I was promoted to acting First Sergeant and for the next several months automatically moved up the ladder to "top-kick." The rest of the war I ran the 197th. When we were staging for the invasion of Japan, the atom bomb was dropped, making about 1 million Americans soldiers happy that we now could get back home alive."