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Letter to the editor: Iowa State’s Niang needs life coaching in how to play responsibly, be mature a

Cody Cousino / Multimedia editor

Letter to the editor

“Georges Niang cried, sometimes uncontrollably,” in the Iowa State Cyclones locker room Sunday after giving up the game-winning three-point shot to Ohio State’s Aaron Craft, according to an article in the DeMoines Register.
“I apologize to the seniors,” the 6-foot-7 Niang reportedly said, slumping in a metal chair as he talked to the media about how he should have stopped the 6-foot-2 OSU junior. “I could have had a hand up, really.”
He also should apologize to Craft.
And as was debated in a March 24 Big Lead Sports article, Niang was wrong to have “accidentally” lowered his shoulder into Craft during a timeout with about 12 minutes left in the game. I hope his coach told him so.
A lot of younger athletes around the nation watch the NCAA March Madness games, and this is a teachable moment about sportsmanship.
I know Niang is young; he’s only a freshman. But counseling him about the right way to act on the basketball court – and in life – is just a way of helping him to eventually mature into a responsible, civil adult.
Let’s hope one of the adults in that locker room – be it an older player, coach or university official – took Niang aside. They need to tell him he was wrong, even in an era when sportsmanship rides the bench and athletes in high school, college and the pros – especially in football and basketball – seem to bask excessively in their own achievements instead of those of the team.
Then again, maybe the basketball gods already have passed judgment here.
After all, it is now Niang who fittingly will always be remembered as the player who gave up the 3-pointer to Craft to end the game.
How he deals with that reputation, for the rest of his Cyclones career and if he’s good enough for the NBA, is up to him.
I just hope someone helps him now, when he seems to need it most.
Good luck, Niang.

Michael Kersmarki
Tampa, Fla.
Ohio State, Class of ’81
 

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