The Sr. HS class of 1987-88 put several great players into Big East programs, led by the quartet of Mourning, Owens, Sealy & C. Smith. (UPDATE: Eric Murdock, PC guard)
That same year also saw top hits released by Big Daddy Kane, Eric B & Rakim, LL Cool J, Kool Moe Dee and Public Enemy.
Old school player bio’s are fun trips down memory lane but we can take an even more vivid visit by linking players to top releases of that year. Ones they likely had in their cassette decks. (I know we did)
Alonzo Mourning probably practiced those mid-range jumpers to Kool Moe Dee’s release “how you like me now”. Cool, but with a little attitude…sounds about right.
The late Malik Sealy (boogie-down Bronx) may have been drawn to the smooth but powerful style of Big Daddy Kane (Bed-Stuy Brooklyn) who released “the wrath of kane” in 1988 before heading to the Redmen (storm) of St. Johns.
Chris Smith, the consummate floor leader for Uconn, HAD to like the beat of Eric B and Rakim’s “follow the leader” released earlier that year. Smith prob got an early copy since his Bridgeport facility was only a short ferry ride across the LI Sound to Eric B/Rakim’s studio in Long Island.
Finally, the “chill” nature of one LL Cool J had to appeal to Billy Owens; known to be relatively quiet/relaxed but still dominant on the floor. “Going back to Cali” was a hit in 87 while Owens was considering “going up to Syracuse”.
UPDATE: Eric Murdock (aka the man of steal) was a sophomore at Providence College in 1988 when Public Enemy released “It Takes A Nation of Millions…” album. Safe to assume the man of steal spent more than a few car rides head-bobbing to P.E.’s classic track “black STEEL in the hour of chaos”.