“Ray, when someone asks if you’re a god, you say YES!”
With all due respect to Ghostbusters, some teams don’t just need a god, they need God with a capital “G”. Providence College, picked by most pundits to come in dead last in the Big East, has called in the big guns. God Shammgod, who ran the point for the Friars in the mid-1990s before embarking on a lengthy professional career both foreign and domestic, was recently hired as an assistant coach at his alma mater.
Shammgod spent part of his summer teaching basketball clinics for area youth, sharing the secrets of a wicked crossover along with a super-serious message to stay in school and get a solid education. It’s something he knows plenty about; his role on the PC bench is “Undergraduate Student Assistant Coach” because Shammgod is learning and teaching at the same time.
The Providence Journal spells it out:
At 35, Shammgod has walked a long road since he left Providence College as a 19-year-old sophomore point guard to go to the NBA. That road has led him right back to Rhode Island.
Shammgod didn’t finish college after he left PC, but now he is again a student there, and has found a new family in coach Ed Cooley and all the folks who run the basketball and sports programs. He is studying education, hoping to be a basketball coach, and getting pointers from Cooley and other mentors.
Of course, this is all well and good. I’m happy Shammgod is back to finish his abandoned degree. But my interest in him transcends his basketball exploits. Before Troy Machir and I combined our #AllNameTeam efforts this season, I used to publish my own list of great monikers, awarding the God Shammgod Trophy to the player with the best combination of name and stats. No name-obssessed writer can resist lines like this one, which appears in Shammgod’s official bio:
“After his NBA career, God played in the Chinese Basketball Association for several teams, including the Zhejian Cyclones and Shanxi Yujun. He has played professionally in several countries, including Poland and Saudi Arabia.”
Welcome back to college hoops, God.