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O'Hara Talks Back

March 21, 1987

Regarding my now famous "choke quote," I have these comments:

1) Those who carefully read Roger Campbell's column in the Feb. 11 L.A. Times would have noticed that I never gave the quote to him. Rather, he intercepted it by reading my lips during a timeout huddle. What I say to my team at a timeout is meant for their ears only--it is to remind, instruct and motivate them. It is not intended for publication.

2) Now that the quote has been published, I do not deny that I said it. 3) I don't claim that Alemany holds a monopoly on choking. This happens to all teams at some time. When a team plays horribly the entire game, that is not a choke, it's a pathetic performance. A choke is when a team loses after holding a comfortable lead near the end of the game. Since I've been coaching at Louisville, we have choked some games away (example, 12/22/85 vs. Chino), but none this year and none at our home gym with an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter.

4) This whole controversy was created and fomented by the L.A. Times Valley sports section. It is serious business for the teams involved. The only amusement for me has been reading simplistic letters full of misguided wrath and sophomoric sarcasm.

Brian O'Hara

Louisville basketball coach

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