College coaches are asked to sign-in before receiving a packet, which includes rosters, players numbers and contact info. The coaches have their own seating area on the floor or upstairs, above the court.
“It’s amazing the amount of college coaches that come to this fall league,” said Andover High coach Dave Fazio, whose son, D.J. Fazio, also played and was scouted in the league before matriculating to Emmauel College in Boston.
“There are a lot of reasons why it is so special: It’s organized. The facility is great. The best talent in the area is here. It’s just a lot of fun for everyone involved, including coaches, fans and players,” said Fazio. “And the pizza is great.”
The added element for the coaches is a lengthy newsletter (he termed last week’s effort saying coaches will need a large coffee to get through it) that Gorman writes under the pen name of Fennis Dembo, a former University of Wyoming star (2,311 points) with a “legendary” name. He sends it out to coaches, close friends and fellow basketball junkies, literally breaking down every fall league game with comments.
He names players of the week, a team of the week and even compliments the referees from time to time. Also, if a kid isn’t hustling, Fennis Dembo isn’t afraid to call the kid out in his newsletter. He also mentions several fans in attendance, discussing fashion, diet and comments heard from the scorer’s table, where “Fennis” sits for every game.
“Everything that Rick does is for the benefit of the kids and as a result we get to watch our players compete in organized and extremely high-level games,” said Central coach Rick Nault. “Nothing compares to what Rick puts together at the North Andover Youth Center.”
While Gorman admits this league is a passion for him, he also notes that it should always be kept in its proper perspective. The note at the end of his weekly newsletters explains that best:
“Don’t get too high. Don’t get too low ... It’s fall ball!”