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Pitino, Donovan will be Forever Linked?
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On March 22, 2012 @ 7:00 am In All,College Headlines,Headlines | No Comments
Had (Billy) Donovan not lost 30 pounds, rededicated himself to basketball and developed into an All-American point guard, Providence never would have made the unlikely 1987 Final Four run that launched (Rick) Pitino’s coaching career. And had Pitino not hired Donovan as a grad assistant at Kentucky, mentored him for five years and urged Marshall, then Florida to make him one of the nation’s youngest head coaches, Donovan’s smooth path to the peak of the profession would have been far bumpier.
“I think about it all the time, ‘Would Billy Donovan be here at Florida today if I’d transferred from Providence or if Rick Pitino didn’t take the job?” Donovan said Wednesday. “Where would I be? Maybe I’d be down on Wall Street. Maybe I’d be doing something else. Who knows what I’d be doing? But I feel very fortunate Rick Pitino came into my life.”
Donovan’s and Pitino’s lives again will intertwine this week in Phoenix with both seventh-seeded Florida and fourth-seeded Louisville competing in the West Regional semifinals. If Donovan’s Gators upset Marquette and Pitino’s Cardinals topple Michigan State on Thursday night, then the two men will meet 25 years after Providence’s memorable run with another Final Four berth on the line.
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