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January 07, 1982 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-01-07
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11

Page 14-Thursday, January 7, 1982-The Michigan Daily

The Michigan Daily-Thursda

The leader
Captain Garner sets hustling example

II

. _ _ . ,
. ,.

By RON PQLLACK
There are players that score more
points than Michigan forward' Thad
Garner. There are also performers who
jump higher, run faster, and possess
more breathtaking moves than the
Wolverines' senior. But it is difficult to
find a college basketball player who
better fills the role of a leader.
As a junior last season, the 6-7 cager
was co-captain along with Paul Heur-
man on a team that started four
seniors. This year, Garner is the
squad's only captain and senior.
GARNER'S LEADERSHIP
capabilities, however, extend beyond
the basketball court, as is illustrated by
the career he plans to pursue when his
playing days come to an end.
"I hope to be a warden some day,"
said Garner. "People think I'm crazy.
But people in prison are just that,
'people. I'd like to make their adjust-
ment to when they leave jail easier."
Garner's career ambition does not
seem so crazy when his background is
examined. He comes from a family of
law enforcement. His father is a private
detective, his brother a state trooper
18-81 CO-CAPTAIN Thad Gagner (far
left) confers with coach Bill Frieder,
and teammates Mike McGee (center)
and Johnny Johnson during a break in
game action last year. McGee and
Johnson are now gone, along with two
other graduated starters, leaving Gar-
ner as the sole player left from last
year's starting lineup. As this picture
may indicate, however, Garner is well-
prepared to continue in his leadership
role this season.

and his sister is a deputy sheriff.
GARNER OFFERS ANOTHER ex-
planation for his choice of profession.
"I try to picture myself five to six years
from now behind a desk with a nice suit
on," he said. "But I'd also need
, something out of the ordinary that's not
routine. It's like on the court where
there's something different every day.
"After getting floor burns every day
and diving for balls, I don't think I could
. ever handle just a desk job. I need some
excitement."
During his three years at Michigan,
Garner has provided plenty of ex-
citement for Wolverine fans with his
hustling, no-holds-barred style of play.
And it is with this play, more. than
anything else, that he leads the
Michigan cagers.
"AS CAPTAIN I don't talk too
much," he said. "I lead by example, by
diving for balls and getting floor burns.
But if I were on a team where I had to
grab players and shake them, I would.
But with our team I don't have to."
Apparently Garner's example has in
fact rubbed off on the rest of the squad.
"Thad's a great leader," said

Wolverine head coach Bill Frieder. "He
plays the game like you like to see it
played-with intensity. The way he
plays has got to carry over to the
others.,
"I think you'll always see five players
on the floor diving for balls," said Gar-
ner. "I think it's bad that we're so inex-
perienced. But it's good that we're so
aggressive. Whatever five players are
out there had better be diving for balls
because somebody will be there to take
their spot."
GARNER HAS ALWAYS been a ball
hawking, defensive stalwart!This year,
however, the Gary, Indiana native
must provide leadership at the offen-
sive end of the floor as never before.
This new scoring burden now falls on
Garner because of the loss of Mike
McGee, Johnny Johnson, Mark and
Marty Bodnar and Heuerman from last
year's squad. With these players went
most of the Wolverines' offense from
last year..
But the responsibility of lighting up
the scoreboard more frequently than in
his previous seasons does not worry
Garner."It is added pressure," he said.

"In the past three years, I've subdued
my game to complement our great
scorers.
"People don't realize that it takes
more than scorers to win a game. I took
on other roles to help the team. I've had
a lot on the offensive end that I've kept
inside that I'm looking forward to
showing people this year."
FRIEDER ALSO HOPES that Gar-
ner will show more offense, even if the
senior Wolverine doesn't change his of-
fensive style.
"Thad's always scored by hustling,"
said the second-year coach. "That's the
way he's always scored and always will
score. . . I hope he'll score a few more
baskets."
In the past, Garner has been known
for his hustling, aggressive style of
play. This year, Michigan's success or
failure will be greatly influenced by his
ability to fill the role of a scorer. But
neither of these descriptions charac-
terize Garner as well as his own ex-
planation of what his role in life is: "My
whole career deals with helping
people."

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