THURSDAY, MARCH 10,''1966
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 1966 THE MICHIGAN DAILY
By GIL SAMBERG
Acting Associate Sports Editor
There are individuals who can
be sketched as quickly as a phrase.
"The finest image of collegiate
athletics-that's Oliver Darden."
And if men were but impersonal
impressions, Dave Strack's capsule
description would fit well. But a
fast phrase can at best only "fit,"
not represent, a person . . . espe-
Swooping down at the
from some unseen corner
action, Darden's kind of
play can't really be captured in
a still-life. For the daring,, the
unexpected height, and the jolt-
ing swiftness of a purposeful mis-
sile has yet to be recorded faith-
On a basketball court, Oliver
Darden can cause an almost ap-
prehensive excitement. He is a
muscular figure-sirambling, pois-
ed, streaming . . . In the end there
is the expectation of boldness, of
quick and decisive reaction. And
he always comes through -with it
-whether cannonballing off the
backboards or pumping in a 20-
footer from the side--he always
"He's the kind of ballplayer I
like to call a 'garner'," said Strack
of his team's captain. "When the
chips are down he, like Cazzie,
seems to come on even stronger
than before. He's one of the most
exciting players-a fearless re-
bounder who puts everything into
it. It's this daring that you sense."
Strack: 'Quiet Independence'
After four years of coaching
Darden, Strack is sure about his
man. "Oliver is one of the finest
young men I've had the fortune
to know," he states. They coach
knows Darden's quick wit and his
quiet independence. He sees him
as a mature individual, a fine
captain, and a favorite with the
It is truly unfortunate that
more of the members of that
amorphous student body can't
really get to know this fellow
transient beyond what they can
see from 20 yards away, or be
amazed by on television, or throw
away in a press release, because
it is clear that this is an individ-
ual who even the most devout
cynics could admire.
Oliver Darden is a scrupulous-
ly independent person. He does
not shrink from expressing his
Views, and often his frankness is
prone to be mistaken for near=
cynicism. There is little that could
be farther from the truth.
"I came to Michigan with a lot
of that college rah-rah stuff in
mind-the Frank Merriwell picture'
more or less. . . . As a senior in
high school I was really appre-
hensive about getting in and
staying in. Ihthought that the
transition might be too tough.
"Well, I found out that it's all
exactly the way you make it. With
the right outlook, the right atti-
tude, there's very little that can
stand in your way.",
Darden came out of Detroit
Western a three-year All-Stater
and a prime target for swarms of
recruiters. But he had already de-
cided to go to an in-state school
-Western, State, and Michigan
were the ones he had been consid-
Friends Favored Michigan
"At home whenever friends of
the family gave me advice, it al-
ways came out 'Michigan.' I knew.
that if I could afford it, I would'
go here. When I was offered a
scholarship, that was it."
He declared his preference quite
early, and Strack remembers it
especially because Darden was
such a big catch for a "basket-
ball school"like Michigan.
And Darden came to Ann Arbor
with the dream-the one that all
the high school hot-shots have and
the one which is so seldom realized
--of becoming an All-American, a
He soon came to see that bas-
ketball was simply the means to
an end, not an end in itself.
Plenty of Practice
"I realized that basketball was
giving me a chance to get an edu-
cation. As an athlete I was given
a scholarship to play a particular
sport-more, to excel in that sport.
And to do thatwe have practice,
and plenty of it.
"Yes, I can see it as a job of
sorts . . . if anything, a part-
time job. If I have a test or some-
thing like that, of course, I can
always get out of a practice.
"But it's basically the same for,
students who are on academic
scholarships. We have to put in
the extra work, the extra time, to
"If Oliver decided to play pro-
fessional ball, he'd be one of the
good ones," says Strack emphat-
ically. "Oliver is too courageous to
be battered under the boards, and
he's certainly a deft shooter any-
where from 15 to 20 feet out.
"He's mature," Strack contin-
ued. "He knows what he wants,
and he'll work hard to get it."
Law School Next..."?
The coach obviously knows what
Darden does have in mindsy
law school. An American history
levels of sports. But when you are
part of a real team, you would
never jeopardize its chances for
your own. That's always in your
own. That's always in your mind."
Good Word for Yost
Yoste Fielde House, the inno-
cent structure on State street,
has never been considered a play-
er's palace in recent years. But
Darden can see the old echo cham-
ber - compared with Cobo Hall,
where you couldn't hear a bomb
drop-as adding to the enthusi-
asm of the crowd. This, he feels,
is important in any sport:
"The crowd at home, at Yost,
is really fantatsic. You can see
that they're more critical than
they used to be, a couple of years
"Now they expect you to win
and to be better every time out.
"But the crowd can be great. It
can really help. When it's with
you it can make the quick tempo
of the game.
"When a crowd is against you,
you try harder to keep it quiet.
You want to do something bet-
ter, something more. And when
you try too hard, that's when the
crowd is stampeding you."
Darden graduates in April. He
looks back easily: "I've seen bet-
ter physical plants than Michigan
has. There are a lot that are pret-
tier," he adds jokingly. "And
Michigan will always be here when
"But a school - the buildings,
the classrooms, and things like
that-are no better than the peo-
ple in them. . . . I'd make the
same decision about coming here
if I had the choice again.
"But I've learned that people
will be OK no matter where you
are if you treat them right.
"Now, some people are sincere,
others aren't. There are some peo-
ple who are always willing to help
you. They may have been through
some of the same experiences and
want to give you a hand . . . like
"But sometimes it isn't wise to
rely on others too much. You
should depend on yourself, on
your own abilities. When things
get too easy, one can easily be-
come complacent and expect more
from life than it actually can offer.
That can be one of its biggest dis-
"I've found that if you a definite
plan in life, college is the place
to start on it. I know that, for
me, these have been the four most
productive years of my life."
Darden now captains a team
that is one of the best in the na-
tion. It has been this team, more
or less, that has come close--
very close-to that NCAA top spot
Los Angeles 119, Cincinnati 116
Philadelphia 123, St. Louis 115
Boston 3, Montreal 1
Toronto 1, Detroit 0
New York 1, Chicago 0
for two years. This is their last
chance at it.
"It's been our goal,' says Dar-
den. "We've wanted another
chance at it. We didn't give up
hope when we were at our low
point - after the Arizona State
game. We've been playing for it
"And if there's a team that's
going to beat us, it will have to
put up one helluva fight to do it."
Place your bets, folks.
The Crop and Saddle Club of
Michigan is holding its annual
horse show on Sunday, March
-13. If you want to enter or would
like transportation, call Beth
Rosengrad, 665-6329. The show
starts at 3 p.m. at Stoney Ridge
Stables, Chelsea, Mich.
* * *
Thirty members of the Michi-
gan band will add noise and
spirit to the Wolverine NCAA
efforts on Friday and Saturday
nights. Led by George Cavender,
the contingent wvill depart for
Iowa City at 1 p.m. today.
Many of them do. and it's a
matter of record that becoming
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AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
PUTTING EVERY POWERFUL MUSCLE into one of 217 re-
bounds, which he snatched this season, Michigan basketball
Captain Oliver Darden shows what clearing the backboards is
all about. Darden's rebounding efforts combined with 'a deadly
jump shot to win him All-America recognition this season.
WAA Crop and Saddle Club
Holds Annual Horse Show
major as an undergrad, he is
planning to remain a student for
at least a few years longer.
But the money-makers in the
key NBA cities know what they
want, too! And they certainly
know how to get it. Darden is
considered one of the really good
prospects in 1966: He would be
the "perfect forward."
The first of the serious feelers
from the NBA have been coming
in far awhile.
"I have mixed feelings about the
pros," Darden explains. "I feel this
is one of the things that I have
to face squarely. If I decide to
play pro ball for one year, it'll
become two, then three . . . and I
don't think I can afford to stay out
of school that long. I don't want to
Money Not Prime Concern
"Money isn't a determining fac-
tor here-it shouldn't be. I've nev-
er had too much money, so I won't
be missing much. Besides, that'll
"Right now I get my teaching
certificate in April (he is present-
ly student-teaching at Tappan
Junior High School). And that
should be enough."
Chalk him up as a "profession-
Experience Brings Impressions
Three years of varsity basket-
ball have resulted in impressions
and opinions. There is no question
in the senior's mind as to the
nature of the game.
"Obviously the main thing is to
win," he says. "We don't practice
five days a week for nothing.
"Winning is fun. Losing is not.
Really, how you play the game'
is not the biggest thing in a per-
son's mind no matter what he's
doing. It comes naturally. We
do anything that is legal to win."
His idea of a "team" is a little
different from the usual ones. It
comes from first-hand observa-
tion and experience.
"I think, basically, that when
you're'out there,' you're playing
for yourself. That goes for all
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By GRETCHEN TWIETMEYER
"We're the greatest riding club
on this campus," quipped its presi-
dent, Beth Rosengrad.
That's not just because the Crop
and Saddle Club recently moved
its location to spacious, well-kept
Stoney Ridge Stables or because
it sponsors an annual horse show.
It's because they're the only riding
club on campus.
The equestrians' big event of the
year is their horse show, which
is this Sunday at 3 p.m. They
offer competition in 11 classes and
award a grand championship tro-
phy to the winner of the most
total points in certain classes.
Novel events, which don't count
toward the trophy, are the pair
class and the knock-down-and-
out class, where the rider is elim-
inated after he knocks down' a
fence. And the 16-member drill
team will put on an exhibition.
The club itself, sponsored by the
Women's Athletic Association,
meets for two hours every week.
But, says Beth Rosengrad, "Just
because the WAA sponsors it peo-
ple get the impression that it must:
be for coeds. That isn't true, by
From 7 to 8 on Thursday nights
the club offers open riding. In-
struction is done by experienced
members and the sponsor, Diane
SPORTS NIGHT EDITOR:
The drill team, under the direc-
tion of drillmaster Craig Adler,
practices for the second hour.
"The main problem with the
club," concludes Beth, "is that
most people don't even know it
exists. But anyone is welcome to
join, and any one connected with
the University can participate in
Provided he can sit on a horse.
S F RIDAY-SATURDAY, March 11th & 12th
"BURBERRY COAT SHOWING"
§ A showing of women's and men's coats for the Fall
of 1966 will be presented in the store. We invite you
§ to select your personal coat from a wide selection of
§ materials and styles.
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