Friday, September 13, 2013

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Above, Bo Robertson (Cornell '58).  Don't know him?  Read about him today in the news and notes for Friday...

  • Cornell's "Junior Day"-- a recruiting event for high schoolers in the class of 2015-- will take place on October 19 in conjunction with Cornell's Red-White Game.
  • Wildcat Blue Nation questions the strength of Louisville's schedule and writes, "Interesting to see that moving to the new American Athletic Conference, the Cardinals failed to make the list, but with the likes of College of Charleston, Hofstra, Cornell, Hartford, Fairfield, Southern Miss, Missouri Kansas City, Louisiana Lafayette, Western Kentucky, Missouri State, Florida International… and THEN Kentucky…. you don’t make many list for quality games."
  • Below is an updated list of players committed to Ivy League schools in the classes of 2013 and 2014:
CLASS OF 2013 IVY LEAGUE COMMITMENTS

Steven Spieth (Jesuit HS) Dallas, TX, 6-6, F, Brown
Aram Martin (Miller School) Charlottesville, VA, 6-9, F, Brown
Lealand King (Brentwood School) Los Angeles, CA, 6-6, F, Brown
J.R. Hobbie (Manasquan HS) Manasquan, NJ, 6-4, G, Brown
Tavon Blackmon (Gonzaga) Washington, DC, 5-11, G, Brown
Matt Madigan (Mt. Tabor HS) Winston-Salem, NC, 6-4, G, Brown
Chris McComber (John McCrae School) Ottawa, ON, 6-7, F, Columbia
Kendall Jackson (Suffield Academy) Suffield, MA, 5-9, G, Columbia
Jeff Coby (Choate Rosemary Hall) Choate, CT, 6-6, F, Columbia
Luke Petrasek (Northport HS) Northport, NY, 6-10, C, Columbia
Ikemefuna Ngwudo (Milton Academy) Milton, MA, 6-5, F, Dartmouth 
Eli Harrison (Sisters HS) Sisters, OR, 6-6, F, Dartmouth
Cole Harrison  (Montrose Christian) Memphis, TN, 6-11, C, Dartmouth
Mike Flemming (N'field Mt Hermon, MA) Lincolnshire, IL, 6-1, G, Dartmouth
Wes Dickinson (Peddie School) Hightstown, NJ, 6-6, F, Dartmouth
Matt Fraschila (Highland Park HS) Highland Park, TX, 5-10 G, Harvard 
Hunter Meyers (Douglas HS) Minden, NV, 6-6, F, Harvard 
Zena Edosomwan (Northfield Mt Hermon, MA) Hollywood, CA, 6-9, F, Harvard 
Matt Howard (A.J. Flora HS), Columbia, S.C., 6-4, G, Penn 
Dylan Jones (Village HS) Houston, TX, 6-8, F, Penn 
Dave Winfield (Harvard Westlake HS) Hollywood, CA, 6-8, F, Penn 
Tony Bagtas (Westlake HS) Atlanta, GA, 5-11, G, Penn
Preston Troutt (Trinity Christian) Dallas, TX 6-0, G, Penn
Khyan Rayner (Jesuit HS) Portland, OR, 5-9, G, Princeton
Henry Caruso (Serra HS) San Mateo, CA, 6-4, G, Princeton 
Hashim Moore (Hun School, NJ) Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 6-5, F, Princeton 
Spencer Weisz (Seton Hall Prep) Florham Park, NJ, 6-4, G, Princeton 
Steven Cook (New Trier HS) Winnetka, IL, 6-5, G, Princeton
Pete Miller (Northfield Mount Hermon, MA) Northfield, MA, 6-10, C, Princeton 
Sam Downy (Lake Forest HS) Lake Forest, IL, 6-9, C, Yale
A.J. Edwards (South Kent School) Kent, CT, 6-5, F, Yale
Anthony Dallier (Northfield Mount Hermon, MA) Wexford, PA, 6-6, F, Yale 
JT Flowers (Lincoln HS) Portland, OR, 6-5, F, Yale

CLASS OF 2014 IVY LEAGUE COMMITMENTS
Jason Massey (American Heritage HS) Plantation, FL, 6-4, G, Brown
Tyler Williams (Lakota West HS) W.Chester, OH, 6-1, G, Brown
Jordan Abdur-Ra'oof (Gonzaga HS) Washington, D.C., 6-7, F, Cornell
Pat Smith (Archbishop Wood HS) Warminster, PA, 6-5, F, Cornell
Zach Yoshor (Beren Academy) Houston, TX, 6-7, F, Harvard
Mike Auger (New Hampton Prep) New Hampton, NH 6-6, F, Penn
Mike LeBlanc (New Hampton Prep) New Hampton, NH, 6-7, F, Princeton
Aaron Young (Episcopal HS), Lynchburg, VA 6-1, G, Princeton
Amir Bell (East Brunswick HS) E.Brunswick, NJ, 6-4, G, Princeton
Eric Anderson (Haverford School) Haverford, PA, 6-6, F, Yale
Landon Russell (Nolan Catholic HS) Ft Worth, TX, 6-2, G, Yale
Maki Mason (Hotchkiss School), Lakeville, CT, 5-11, G, Yale
Khalil Bedart-Ghani (Loyola HS) Los Angeles, CA, 6-3, G, Yale 
  • The following was published by the Ivy League Office in 2004 on Cornell legendary athlete, Bo Robertson:
If a list of the greatest athletes in Ivy League history were to ever be produced, its credibility would be in question if three-sport star Bo Roberson of Cornell wasn't near the very top.

The late Dick Schaap lived an amazing life. He knew Bo as well as anyone. In all his travels, Bo was one of those athletes that he could never get out of his head. Just months before Mr. Schaap passed away in 2001, he had written glowingly about Bo, closing with the line, "He was a beautiful athlete."

And most people would assume that reference was about the multi-talented Bo Jackson, the subject of Schaap's 1990 bestseller, Bo Knows Bo.

But instead, he was remembering a college aquaintance from his days at Cornell University. The multi-dimensional Bo Roberson, the only person ever to earn an Ivy League degree, an Olympic medal and a doctorate while having an NFL career as well.

"My dad always contended that Bo Jackson was the greatest athlete he ever saw," said ESPN's Jeremy Schaap. "But he was convinced that Bo Roberson was the best natural athlete ever in the Ivy League. He could do anything."

He was a three-sport star at John Bartram High and made an impression on Philadelphia basketball legend Sonny Hill, who said, "Bo Roberson belongs in the conversation with any athlete from the City of Philadelphia because he was so successful in three arenas. Obviously Wilt Chamberlain was a great athlete, but his resume was that of two sports. Add in that Bo Roberson was a standout student and he becomes a story that needs to be told."

After getting to Ithaca, Roberson made an enormous impact as a sophomore and he seemed destined to be the League's top athlete in football, basketball and track and field. Before his college athletic career was over, he would return a kickoff 100 yards, average a remarkable 17.6 rebounds a game and break the school long jump record.

Even though his senior season had been slowed by injury, Roberson was chosen as the Senior Athlete of the Year by the Cornell Daily Sun. He earned his bachelor's degree from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations in the Spring of 1958.

A member of the Army reserve program while at Cornell, Roberson served as a lieutenant in the Army following graduation while working as a coach for the track and field program at the U.S. Military Academy. It was there that he long jumped his way onto the world stage, culminating in a world record and an Olympic medal.

Roberson's first big win came at the Pan-American Games in Chicago in August of 1959. Not only did Roberson claim the gold medal, but his winning leap of 7.97 meters (26-2) was more than a foot better than that of silver medalist Greg Bell, the reigning Olympic champ. Roberson finished the year ranked third in the world in the long jump.

If the Pan-Am victory gave him confidence heading into the Olympic year of 1960, what he did in February solidified his status. At the National AAU Indoor Championships, he won with a leap of 25-9 1/2. The performance broke the indoor world record that had been held by Jesse Owens for 25 years.

Olympic gold medalist Ralph Boston recalled the 1960 Olympic Games. "I remember Rome 1960 as clear as day. Bo was going into the Olympics injured and he gave it his all in the second round and took the lead (8.03m). I had my winning jump in the third round (8.12m) and it seemed like Bo had all but given up. It was like he was gonna settle for silver because of his injury.

"But Manfred Steinbach and Igor Ter-Ovanesian both had big jumps in the last round and now Bo found himself barely in third. His adrenaline kicked in and he was fired up. He came flying down the runaway and hit a perfect takeoff. When he landed, the measuring judge turned to me and said '21.' I turned to Bo and said, 'You just tied the world record.' But what it really was was 8.11, a centimeter behind me."

Boston and Roberson finished 1960 as No. 1 and No. 2 in the world and Roberson held onto the world's No. 3 ranking in 1961, but he was ready for a new challenge by the fall of 1961.

As it turned out, Al LoCasale was a personnel man with the AFL Chargers, who were moving from Los Angeles to San Diego that year. In need of speed, LoCasale told a young assistant coach about Roberson. That young assistant was Al Davis.

"Bo went to Bartram High and I went to Olney in the same league," remembered LoCasale, who went to Penn while Roberson was at Cornell. "What I remembered about him was his tremendous speed and his tremendous ability, and that he was put together like a football player, not a skinny track kid. When I remember back, I remember his speed, his accleration, his takeoff."

Roberson became a Charger and then an Oakland Raider.

"Bo was the Raiders' first world-class athlete," Jim Otto once told Dick Schaap. "He helped create the feeling that we were on our way to greatness. He pioneered the Raider tradition of great speed."

From 1962 to 1965, only five guys in the AFL and NFL combined racked up more all-purpose yards than Roberson's 5,467 -- Philadelphia's Timmy Brown, Cleveland's Jim Brown, Oakland's Clem Daniels, Abner Haynes, who played for three teams in the AFL, and Washington's Bobby Mitchell.

Interestingly, Roberson averaged more yards a game in his career with the Raiders than did Bo Jackson in his 38 games three decades later.

After seasons in Buffalo and Miami, Roberson retired and turned to formal education as his next primary objective. After his playing career ended in 1967, Bo attended Stanford Law School and then earned a master's degree from Whitworth College in Spokane. At the age of 58, he earned his doctorate. In April of 2001 Roberson had passed away in Pasadena, Calif.

"He was a super all-around person, athlete or otherwise," said Olympic hero Ralph Boston. "He was one of the heaviest -- brainiest -- guys I ever met and he used to wear those dress whites. Bo Roberson from Cornell. I'll never forget him."

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please correct the spelling of Harvard reruit - MYERS

harry '59 said...

The stars of the 1955-56 basketball team were an unlikele duo. Chuck Rolles, the high scorer was 5'6" and Bo Roberson, who jumped center was about6'. Bo could stuff (when it was rare) and consistently outjumped and outrebounded accomplishede ceners who were as much as 8" taller. He was a great offensive football player at Cornell when players were required to play both sides of the ball. Sidelined by injuries in his senior year, Bo, our downstairs neighbor at 402 Eddy Street, was in our apartment listening to the game at Dartmouth. We were ahead 19-13 with about 2 minutes to go and had the ball fourth and goal on the Dartmouth 2. I said we should try a field goal. We didn't, the ball carrier slipped on a wet field, and Dartmouth proceeded to march 98 yard for the winning touchdown. Although he didn't say anything, I believe Bo was thinking that if were there, he would have scored a touchdown.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Didn't realize Bo was only 6'0" tall. Assumed he was around 6'4-6'5.

The fact that he averaged 17.6 rpg in a season at 6'0" is simply astonishing.

Granted big men back then were in the 6'6" to 6'9" range... the stat line is still incredible.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping we either (1) land the supposed highest ranked kid under BC and/or (2) have some top tier kids visit during homecoming and commit. Jordan Abdur-Raoof was a nice pickup, but we need more than that.

It's been a pretty dismal year in recruiting across the league so far. That could certainly change, but the clock is ticking.

Anonymous said...

Any updates on Shonn and Holt?

CBB please tell us instead of keeping up these silly guessing games.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

We already announced on the Blog and Twitter that Holt is not playing this season.

There is a possibility he might return, but he won't be on the team this season.

I don't have any information that I can post on Shonn Miller.

Anonymous said...

C'mon CBB.

How much longer will it be "up in the air" for?

Unknown said...

Thanks for an interesting article about someone I knew nothing about. Not sure why. Fun to see alum comments too, when you bring up someone they knew. Now that is what a blog should be.

Anonymous said...

I played half a season in 55-56 and at 6'4" it was almost impossible for me to out-rebound Bo in practice - he was truly a great athlete (and a real gentleman). The only BB guys that could jump as well were Gregg Morris, at 6'1 (60's) and Walt Ashbaugh (who was in 52 Olympics (hop-step & jump). I felt Bo was a better football and track athlete, and Gregg was a better basketball player (winner over Kentucky!!) And those were the days of Barton Hall, and because of the super hard floor, we all had shin splints. M

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much for featuring my Uncle Bo in your blog! It was so nice to see the article and all of the posts from alumni that had played with him. If you could please correct our last name which is ROBERSON (not Robertson), his family would greatly appreciate it! Thanks in advance - Bo's niece and Cornell Alum, '94
PS - Uncle Bo was 6'1":-)