Greivis Vasquez beat out Evan Turner, John Wall and others for the Cousy Award honoring college basketball’s top point guard, and the ceremony was yesterday at the Basketball Hall of Fame. Here’s how Big Red introduced Vasquez:
In addressing this body today, I can think of the immortal words of Mother Teresa, who told us that a life not lived for others is not a life. John Wooden took that phrase and turned it into the world of basketball, our world. A game not played for others is not a game. [...]
Gary Williams was that man for Greivis Vasquez. Gary Williams joins that incredible list of Mother Teresa, John Wooden, Oscar Robertson and Jerry Colangelo, someone who made a difference for a young man, who gave someone a chance to be a part of something special.
Greivis Vasquez, he grew up in Caracas, Venezuela without much. Greivis Vasquez, because of Jerry Colangelo and David Stern and the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program in Brazil, he was able to be touched by a great message and even better leaders. Greivis Vasquez, who grew up idolizing Jason Kidd and Steve Nash, true descendants of Bob Cousy, an unbelievable lineage, the ability to make the difference, to bring a smile to someone else’s face.
Greivis Vasquez, who came to Maryland as a high school player, could not speak a word of English. After just a few short years, he was offered a scholarship to the University of Maryland under the leadership and the mentoring and guidance of a brilliant man and a fine soul, Gary Williams. Greivis Vasquez is now graduating in four years with a degree in American Studies. Greivis Vasquez, he has made the most of his opportunities that others have given him, which is the true message of Bob Cousy and the point guard of the year award.
And in presenting this award to Greivis, I would just like to close with a song that Neil Young wrote for Greivis. It’s called ‘Light a Candle,’ and the verse goes, ‘Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle for where we’re going. There’s something ahead worth looking for.’ Thank you, Bob Cousy, and congratulations to Greivis Vasquez.
Now, I don’t think Shakey actually wrote that song for Greivis, but if he did that’s awesome. Actually, it’s awesome either way, because Bill Walton is awesome, and we should never forget it.