Franz Beard’s Basketball Confidential

Doc Rivers can count on one hand the number of free Sundays he will have the rest of the year. He is already meeting with his coaching staff to plan out training camp which begins in just two or three more weeks for the world champion Boston Celtics but on this particular Sunday, he got to enjoy himself at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

Rivers made the hour and 45 minute drive from Orlando with youngest son Spencer to watch his daughter Callie lead the Blue team to victory in volleyball’s annual Orange and Blue scrimmage. Sitting in the south end zone, Rivers was surrounded by Nick Calathes, Chandler Parsons and most of the Florida basketball players. It was obvious that Rivers was enjoying himself and had fun talking to the Gator players.

“This is the perfect situation for me,” said Rivers, whose son Austin is committed to Billy Donovan and the Gators for the 2011 season. “I was thinking about that driving up. I hit some golf balls this morning, hopped in the car and drove up and an hour and 45 minutes later I’m here watching Callie play volleyball for Mary Wise. She’s phenomenal. A dad couldn’t ask for his daughter to be in better hands.

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Franz Beard
Back in January of 1969, the late, great Jack Hairston, then the sports editor of the Jacksonville Journal, called me on the phone one night and asked me if I wanted to work for him. I said yes. The entire interview took 30 seconds. It's my experience that whenever the interview lasts 30 seconds or less, I get the job. In the 48 years that I've been writing and getting paid for it, I've covered Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA basketball championships, BCS championship games, heavyweight title fights and what seems like thousands of college football, baseball and basketball games. I'm a columnist and special assignments editor for Gator Country once again, writing about the only team that ever mattered to me, the Florida Gators.