With apologies to Mission Of Burma, who amongst us hasn’t awoken in a cold sweat wondering, “whatever happened to God Shammgod?” Thankfully, you can sleep easy tonight, as the New York Post’s Howard Kussoy reports Shammgod is putting up gaudy numbers for Raw 129th Street in the Tri-State Classic.
The man – whose name leaves as much of an impression as his game – is back playing streetball after a five-year hiatus, drawn back to the court that resides less than 50 dribbles from his childhood home.
“I play because that’s the park I grew up in. That’s the park where I fell in love with basketball,” Shammgod said. “I used to be in that park until like two in the morning.”
Shammgod, 32, achieved his greatest fame during his second, and final, year at Providence, leading the Friars to the Elite Eight in the 1997 NCAA Tournament, where they lost in overtime to the eventual champs, Arizona. The Wizards took Shammgod in the second round of the 1997 NBA Draft. He played in Washington for one season.
“I can’t say I didn’t get a fair shot. I played behind Rod Strickland, who was one of the best point guards in the NBA,” the 6-foot guard said. “It’s hard to argue [about playing time] when a person is leading the league in assists.”
Were it not for Kussoy’s street hoops reportage, I’d be blissfully unaware, for example, that Smush Parker, Allan Houston and Ron Artest are amongst the household names currently spending their summer on the asphalt.