Tuesday, May 8, 2012

NY Knicks: Late UNLV player and announcer Glen Gondrezick inducted into Colorado Hall of Fame

I was sad to hear this news...He was a class act who always out-hustled them all. Rest in Peace Gondo. BrainHeat

First, a story: Before Glen Gondrezick ever led the Hardway Eight in rebounding and helped put UNLV basketball on the map, he was a stud high school athlete in Colorado.
After the Boulder High School baseball coach pestered and nagged him to join the team, Gondrezick signed up. In his first game, he hit a home run in his first at-bat. And again in his second at-bat. And another in his third, after which he hung up his baseball uniform to do something more important: basketball.
His son, Kelan Gondrezick, laughs when he tells the tale his father told him countless times. Basketball was Glen Gondrezick’s singular focus, and his success on the court is the reason he will be inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
“(Basketball) meant everything to him,” Kelan Gondrezick said. “His dedication to UNLV, Denver, the Nuggets and Las Vegas — he’s very, very proud of what he accomplished.”
Glen Gondrezick died in 2009 at age 53 of complications from a heart surgery. He had received a heart transplant the previous year. Kelan Gondrezick, 30, and his brother, Travis, 15, will travel to Denver to accept the honor and make a speech on their father’s behalf.
“It’s a great honor for us to be able to do that for him,” Kelan Gondrezick said. “It’s been difficult to deal with all of this, but we’re trying to do our best for him.”
Glen Gondrezick, or “Gondo” as he was often called, led the 1976-77 team in rebounds (10.8 per game) and steals (1.9). That squad, led by fourth-year coach Jerry Tarkanian, was the first Rebels team in history to make the Final Four, where they lost by one point to North Carolina.
Glen Gondrezick finished his career with 1,311 points and 831 rebounds, which rank 17th and ninth in school history, respectively. The Knicks drafted him in the second round of the NBA draft. He played two seasons in New York and then four more with the Denver Nuggets.
Kelan Gondrezick was too young to remember watching his father’s games, but he grew up around UNLV as Glen Gondrezick handled the color commentary of Rebels games for 17 years. His No. 25 jersey was retired in 1997.
“We wanted to give a special thanks to Las Vegas for the help and support they’ve given us,” said Kelan Gondrezick, who along with Travis still lives in Vegas. “We really appreciate it.”
Glen Gondrezick is one of six members of this year’s Colorado Hall of Fame, a class headlined by longtime Colorado Avalanche goalie Peter Forsberg. Tim Tebow will also be in attendance.
Kelan Gondrezick said this is a chance for the entire family to get together, something they don’t get to do very often.
It’s an opportunity to retell their favorite stories.

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