Ref Sanders sti c
By PAUL HELGREN
He never played in the pros or even in
college, and he was only an assistant
high school coach for a couple of years.
But some people will come a long way
to hear Sandy Sanders teach basket-
By the same token, Sanders himself
has come a long way to become such a
respected teacher of the game.
Sanders, who earned his masters
degree in administrative supervision
from Michigan in 1977, is a true sports
entrepreneur. Besides refereeing
many college and high school basket-
ball games in southern Michigan, he
also runs a local summer basketball
league comprised of both college and
professional players, and runs his own
basketball and football camps.
IT'S NO WONDER why he recently
gave up his position as the assistant
football coach at Ann Arbor Pioneer
High School. There are only 24 hours in
a day, after all.
The success of Sanders' sporting en-
deavors appears to be growing. For
example, last summer a group of
youngsters came all the way from
Sweden to participate in his basketball
ce. He exnects his football camp.
love was sports."
SO HE transfered to Michigan to get
his degree in health and physical
education. And while he did not play in
any sport ("I was a real good athlete
but . . . I was picking, screening, and
rolling while the kids from the big cities
were doing 360s"), he did stay involved
by refereeing basketball.
"Officiating is a sport in itself,
really," Sanders said. "It's a career,
something you can do 'til: you're 55 or
so. It really makes you stay in shape."
His rise in the officiating world was
meteoric. By the time he was 20, he
was refereeing games for the Pontiac
Chaperelles of the old Continental
Basketball Association. Not long after
that he was also officiating high school
and college games. Around the same
time he became involved in officiating
in summer camp leagues, an experien-
ce which would later help him establish
his own summer camp. He also served
as the assistant basketball coach at
Huron High for three years.
BUT THE greatest influence on his
life came in graduate school in 1975-76
when he did research for a national
assessment of juvenile corrections in-
stitutions. The study had an impact on
the eventual government decision to
close down many juvenile institutions
in favor of halfway houses. It also had a
personal impact on Sanders.
"It made me want to devote my life to
helping kids any way I could," said
Sanders. "I went all over the country
and I found most of these kids weren't
bad, they just needed direction and
guidance. That's why I like being in-
volved in sports. It gives me a chance
to work with kids and help them out a
One kid Sanders helped out was a
Jamaican by the name of Valentine
Notice, beginning when the youngster
was 14. Sanders helped Notice work on
his basketball skills and encouraged
him to get an education.
"HE WASN'T ready for college ball,"
Sanders said of the Jamaican, "but he
got his degree (from Eastern
Michigan.) After that I encouraged
him to give European basketball a try.
He winded up having a successful
career over there."
Notice spread the word in Europe
about his American mentor. A coach in
Sweden heard about Sanders and
arranged a trip to the United States so
that his young team could learn from
him. "I was very honored," said San-
ders. "Those kids worked for six mon-
ths so they could come here."
If his basketball camp is a source of
pride for Sanders, so too is his summer
basketball league. Sanders formed his
league two years ago, because of what
he perceived as a lack of good com-
petitive basketball in the Ann Arbor
area. The teams are made of
professional players like Terry Tyler,
ks to irs
John Long, and Alan Hardy, as well as
many collegiate stars, including nearly
the entire Michigan basketball team.
The games, which are played at
Pioneer High, are school yard hoops at
their very best, with lots of running and
jamming,; but of course very little
AFTER TWO successful summers,
Sanders is planning to expand the
league to include coaches. he also
hopes to create a women's league.
"I knew if we could get past that first
year, it would really take off," Sanders
Because Sanders gets to see the
Michigan players closely over the off
season, he feels he has a good idea on
how they will perform. His prediction
for this year?
"I'm excited about this year's team,"
Sanders said with obvious enthusiasm.
"Hey, I'm an alum. I think they're
going to be a great team. I think the
chemistry is right this year."
Perhaps this is one of the few times
when most Michigan fans would agree
with the ref.
which he started last year at Spring Ar-
bor College, to expand to 150 kids, up
from 60. And he is planning on adding
coaches to his competitive summer
league next year, as well as adding a
women's league. With so much hap-
pening, Sanders barely has enough
time left to spend with his newborn
But Sanders doesn't mind the harried
pace because it keeps him in touch with
this "first love" - sports. There was
a time, however, when Sanders thought
that art - not sports - would be the ob-
ject of his life's goals.
"MY PARENTS didn't really like my
headlong approach to sports," said
Sanders. "So they encouraged trying a
variety of things."
So Sanders gave art a try and it
quickly paid dividends. In his senior
year at Muskegon Reese-Puffer High
School, a Sanders' sculpture won him
= art scholarship sponsored by actor
Vincent Price. He attended Northwood
Institute filled with dreams of
becoming a great artist. But harsh
reality soon sunk in.
"They (art teachers) wanted me to
concentrate on commercial art," San-
ders explained. "You know, selling
Chevys and Buicks. That wasn't for
r2e. It was then that I realized my first
Athletes fight for a rebound in Sandy
Ann Arbor Pioneer High School.
Daily Photo by DOUG McMAHON
Sanders' summer basketball league at
Why do fraternity men fare 'so poorly
in Gridde picks? You see, fraternity men
always pick the best rushing teams,
because those are the teams with the
most members. They never pick teams
like Notre Dame or Penn State because
they believe all independents are
losers. A frat rat thinks a fair catch
means leaving Charley's with an
average looking girl.
Sorority girls don't do much better.
They like to pick teams from the Atlan-
tic Coast Conference because that's
where their summer home is. They
don't like to pick teams from the Big
Ten because it reminds them how many
pounds they are overweight.
Top the Greeks. Turn in your Gridde
picks at the Daily offices or at Pizza
Bob's on S. State or Church. Deadline
for all picks is midnight Friday.
1. Iowa at MICHIGAN (pick score)
2. Illinois at Purdue
3. Michigan State at Ohio State
4. Indiana at Wisconsin
5. Minnesota at Northwestern
6. Colorado at Nebraska
7. Texas at SMU
8. Arizona at Stanford
9. West Virginia at Penn St.
10. Kentucky at Georgia
11. South Carolina at LSU
12. USC at Notre Dame
13. Tulane at Southern Mississippi
14. Maryland at Duke
15. Pittsburgh at Navy
16. Oklahoma St. at Kansas
17. Colgate at Wyoming
18. Princeton at Harvard
19. Sacramento St. at Humboldt St.
20. Iowa Chicken-hawk eyes at DAILY
Any time's a wild time when you add the
great taste of Two Fingers... and this wild
Two Fingers T-shirt! To get yours, send
your name, address, style preference
and size (men's style S, M, L or
women's French cut S, M, L) along
with $7.50, to:
Two Fingers T-shirt Offer,
266 North Rocky River Dr.