Saturday, July 27, 2013

the legend of Llewellyn Smalley

The legend of Llewellyn Smalley grows by the year and the telling. There were the mano-a-mano duels with Anthony Carter. The time he dropped 58 — no, was it 60? How about when Smalley, still in the Army, walked into the gym in his early 20s with little basketball know-how and filled it up, anyway?

The question invariably arises with repeated viewings of College Summer League games: Did you see Llwellyn Smalley play? It's usually said in hushed tones and hinted at as something of a religious experience.

The 6-foot-2 guard's official accomplishments are impressive, true; he set all manner of career records at Hawaii Pacific University en route to NAIA All-America status and a successful European pro career. But here, he's generally celebrated for another set of accolades.

Namely, getting buckets, and getting fans on their feet in a small Manoa gym. People haven't forgotten his inspired, freewheeling play every summer from the mid-'90s through the 2000s.

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