Hello Parliament fans! It’s number 31 here reporting for his Parliamentary duty. We had a big win at Dayton on Saturday and it was great to see our team come together in a hostile environment. We played well together against a great team with a great coach in Brian Gregory…
Being on a high profile team I get many questions about what players are like off the court or at the beginning of the season who is going to start. But if walk-ons had a website it's FAQ's about being a walk-on would be, "are you actually any good?" This question is understandable. There is not much documentation regarding the ability and skill level of many walk-ons since we are rarely seen on the court. We are elusive and similar to sightings of the legendary Chupacabra.
Many times my teammates tell me of someone they met who asked about me and asked that aforementioned question. So, we like to answer that question in warm-ups. If you show up early enough before a game you can witness some of the few white men in this world who can throw it down. You will witness Dutch go up and rattle the rim with a two-handed dunk or Jimmy do a classic and smooth two-handed slam. Or you could see me do my patented alley-oop to myself when I throw the ball up, let it bounce, catch and dunk it. But the most surprising thing about Temples Men’s basketballs highest jumpers are that the two Italians on our team are in the top 5 in vertical leap (I know the red hair sends mixed signals but I assure you I am Italian and know Dean Martins, “That’s Amore” word for word). TJ DiLeo, also known as, "The Italian Monster" boasts a 34 inch vertical which places him 3rd and I round out the top 5 with a 30 inch vert. When I tell people of TJ's ridiculous hops no one believes me, that is until he did his infamous, "McGonigle Hall, off the wall, make you jump out ya seat and fall, Cinnaminson Special," at Cherry and White night this year. TJ likes to throw the ball off the wall, catch it, and brings it around the backboard for an emphatic dunk. Needless to say, the crowd got pretty hype.
What else you will see in warm-ups is Jimmy McDonnell draining threes from the top of the key. What makes this so special is that Jimmy is 6 foot 10 and has the range of an NBA guard. Coach Dunphy saw Jimmy play this summer and choose to give him a scholarship. Jimmy was going to go D3 but when Dunphy saw him and his potential he wanted him to be an Owl. Was it a great move? I would answer you with a resounding, “Yes! Even his hair is cool!” The jump that Jimmy has made from our first team practice until now has been tremendous. He is learning more about the game and it is awesome to see him get better.
So next time try to make it out early to watch The Parliament warm-up and show off their stuff.