Letter to the Editor: Columnist’s predictions off the mark

As a devoted fan of the Northeastern University men’s basketball team I could not help but wonder if reporter Matt Foster has attended a single game over the last four years after reading his Nov. 29 column, “The Rebuilding Rut.” As a faithful reader of The News for the past six years, I have never known its writers to be in the habit of launching personal attacks against individual student athletes but Foster used his limited public forum to do just that. The article is rife with research errors and laden with assumptions. It is disappointing that The News would choose to publish an item of such limited substance and value.

After predicting a winless, “wash-out” CAA campaign by the Huskies, Foster attempts to invalidate the selection of senior guard Bobby Kelly as one of the team’s captains based on his career points per game average. Anyone who witnessed the Huskies’ recent win over North Carolina-Wilmington, a CAA opponent no less, would be able to recognize Kelly’s enormous value to the team. Kelly scored seven of his 11 points in the final seven minutes of the game, including draining four key free throws down the stretch. The senior captain was also a terror on defense in the Huskies’ half court trap, creating three steals and wreaking havoc in the final minutes of the contest. The hustle that has defined Kelly’s career was evident as he chased down his own miss off a foul shot and saved possession for the Huskies with under a minute to play.

Foster is correct in saying that Jose Juan Barea was an incredibly gifted player, but he was not the consummate team player that Kelly is. Barea needed the ball at all times to be successful whereas Kelly does all the little things that go unnoticed by your average fan (see Foster). There is no “vacancy in the leadership department” as Foster laments; rather Kelly was elected captain by his teammates because they admire and respect his work ethic, dedication, hustle and the selfless way he plays the game. Kelly didn’t need to be chosen captain. He has been a leader for the Huskies on the court and in the classroom over the past four years.

There is so much more to being a captain and a leader of a team than how many points a player averages. This idea of leadership transcends basketball. Patriots captain and key cog in their Super Bowl Champion teams Larry Izzo has averaged less than one tackle per game over the past six seasons with the Pats. Izzo remains a captain because, like Kelly, his teammates recognize and appreciate his competitive spirit and passion for the game.

Foster’s attitude toward the current Huskies is a shame. While he continues to live in the past, our young Huskies led by wise veterans like Bobby Kelly and Adrian Martinez are building for the future. Foster should do the Husky faithful a favor and send an apology in the form of his season tickets to a true fan, or, at the least, an objective reporter.

– Gavin Potter graduated from Northeastern in 2006.

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