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Loyola Basketball History Chronicled In Alumnus' Book

Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith

May 27, 2014

From Press Release

In the early days of the new sport, basketball rooted deeply in Baltimore and the surrounding Maryland countryside. Jimmy "Jumpshot" Smith's history of the first century of Loyola University Maryland basketball, is now available. The Loyola Greyhounds' caging exploits are depicted against a backdrop of the World Wars, the roaring 20's, the Great Depression, and the modern post war era. The book, blends the basketball program's growth with that of America and the parallels are striking. As America became a world power, Loyola rose in the region and emerged as champions, setting records along the way that, even measured against today's game, are amazing.

Smith spent the past ten years interviewing the living legends and relatives of the greats who passed on and has compiled a riveting tale of the University's role in Maryland basketball, education, and in producing major state and national figures. Sprinkled in among the legends, like Jim Lacy and Jim McKay, are anecdotes from the supporting cast, on championship making shots, agonizing defeats, court brawls and locker room antics.

The men who made basketball history in the region have playing fields, halls, and athletic centers named after them. People today know the names but generally have no idea how the names got on those venues. Some of the records seem unbelievable but given the way the sport has changed, they take on new relevance as Smith explains them, drawing on his basketball experience. Smith played on Loyola's 1973 "Cinderella Team" defeating NCAA Small College Division Champions, Roanoke College, in their conference tournament semi-final, then upsetting Randolph-Macon in the final, advancing the Hounds to their first NCAA tournament appearance. As a senior, Jimmy's game exploded into a defensive threat that opposing teams had to account for and then parlayed that into a professional career in Europe.

The stories of Loyola opponents are priceless and include Mt. St. Mary's Jim "Bow Tie" Phelan, Bonaventure's Hal Lanier, Maryland's Gene Shue and Lefty Driesell.

With a foreword by Naismith Hall of Fame DeMatha Coach Morgan Wootten and contributions from the celebrated alumni -- Baltimore Orioles' and New York Mets' General Manager Frank Cashen, and Vince Bagli, the Dean of Baltimore Sports Broadcasters, Jimmy finds himself in good company. His stories blend in well with their recollections of attending Loyola or taking to the hardwood to try to beat the Legendary Lefty Reitz at Evergreen, a horror house for opponents.

Loyola's sports bloodline can be traced back through Lefty Reitz, Villanova's Harry Stuhldreher, one of the Four Horseman backfield, and then to the legendary Knute Rockne of Notre Dame. Loyola's program echoed their collegiate purpose of developing the whole person. When Pope Francis reminds us that integral to the core mission of the Church is focusing on development of the whole person, he is reiterating practices that Lefty Reitz embodied in the sports program, backed up by the long line of Jesuit faculty who supported him nearly 75 years ago.

This limited edition, 390-page hardback story, is jam-packed with 317 photos, individual and team game statistics and the brackets of some of the Mason-Dixon Tournaments Loyola participated in, including Tournament honors and awards. Running with the Greyhounds can be purchased online from the first print run now available directly from the printer.

Take a look inside the book on the website and test your knowledge with a quiz "So You Think You Know Hounds Basketball."

From Knute Rockne to Wilson Bean, it's all there waiting to be discovered.

Order at www.runningwiththegreyhounds.webs.com