One Hundred and Counting

October 19, 2006

The 100th anniversary year of Georgetown basketball is now officially underway. Coincidentally, my good friend and former Hoya third baseman Tommy Elliott '71 recently brought to my attention a story in the Washington Post about centenarians living in the city of Washington. I can't believe I almost missed it. But I looked it up and there it was in black and white: the story of a Jesuit who has lived his life well, generously in service to others. I thanked Tom and promised to tell my own story about the very same gentle man from the newspaper, Fr. James Martin, S.J. Here it is:
2006.10.19.1936.YDB.JMartin 1936 Ye Domesday Book photo
On a beautiful sunny morning six autumns ago, I was coming off the campus hilltop once known as Fowler's Hill, where I had just finished a workout in Yates Field House. I paused on the road overlooking Harbin Field (as the Hoya Yard was then known). The lacrosse team was in the midst of a sunrise off-season practice. As I marveled at the talents of these players, my mind drifted back to an earlier time at Georgetown, in the 1970's and 80's, when I aspired first to play and then to coach this game at such an elevated level of competition. Back then, it was just a dream. Now, for those who had followed, the dream had come true.

As I leaned up against the chain-link fence, absorbed in the action on the field, a voice from behind me broke through to my consciousness, "How would you like to be out there yourself?" I turned to face an elderly gentleman, standing erect and fit.

"Why, uh, I don't know," I sputtered, amazed that this unassuming senior citizen had somehow penetrated my inner thoughts. Finally, I recovered enough to answer "No, been there -- done that." We watched the team together for another minute in silence.

But my curiosity was piqued and my attention shifted from the field to this mysterious stranger. "Are you visiting the campus?" I asked. "No, I live here," he replied, with a hint of a smile appearing on his face, "in the Jesuit community."
Now I was really intrigued. I first came to Georgetown as a student in 1968 and except for various segments totaling 3.5 years, have been on or about the campus since then. How was it that, in all that time, I had never come across this dignified reverend?

During our all-too-brief encounter, he related bits and pieces of his fascinating life that spanned the entire 20th century: teaching in the Philippines, serving as an Army chaplain during World War II, conducting retreats at the Jesuit retreat house in southern Maryland, and parish work in northern Virginia. One bit, however, struck real close to home. He was at Georgetown in the late 1930's serving as an assistant director of athletics.

2006.10.19.1940.YDB.GMurphyJKehoeJMartin The athletic triumvirate depicted in the 1940 yearbook: graduate manager of athletics (athletic director) Gabe Murphy '30, prefect of discipline (dean of students) Fr. John Kehoe, SJ, and assistant athletic director, Fr. James Martin, SJ

2006.10.19.1907.RyanGymExterior Original home of the Hoyas, Ryan Gymnasium, built in 1906
Awed by the serendipity of bumping into this living breathing history lesson, I queried, "You mean that you actually knew Al Blozis? What about basketball coaches Elmer Ripley and Fred Mesmer? And how about Fr. McDonough, Fr. Kehoe, and Gabe Murphy?" "I knew them all," he answered. "Gabe was the athletic director with whom I worked. Back then, because he was an alumnus, we called him the graduate manager of athletics."

"What about Ryan Gymnasium?" I asked. McDonough Gym was still a dozen years away from construction. "What was it like?"

"It was always a tight fit," he responded. "Of course, the basketball team only practiced there. Games were played downtown. We had an elevated running track in Ryan for indoor practice and conditioning. The problem was that if you tried to shoot from the corners of the court, the ball would never make it to the hoop. It would hit the bottom edge of the track. As a result, our boys would never practice that particular shot and it affected us in competition."

He continued, "So I made the decision to remove the indoor track from Ryan Gym. It wasn't popular with our track team, but our outside shooting did improve."

2006.10.19.1906.RyanGym Interior of Ryan Gym, circa 1907

2006.10.19.1940.Ryan.NoTrk Interior of Ryan Gym, post-1939

Forty-five minutes after his first question to me, I told Fr. James Martin, S.J. how thrilled I was to have the chance to meet him. And off he went, continuing his then-daily morning walk. He was 98 years old at the time, edging Fr. Joseph Durkin as the oldest Georgetown Jesuit by two years. An exceptional athlete his entire life, he was still performing weight resistance training as part of his regular exercise regimen.

Six years later at age 104, Fr. Martin - Georgetown's own centenarian, is the world's oldest living Jesuit.

Hoya, Hoya Saxa!

Hoya, Hoya Georgetown!

Hoya Martin! Hoya Martin! Hoya James Martin!


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Schedules

October 21
L, 17-9
Fordham Family Weekend
Cooper Field
RECAP

Watch: Patriot League Network
October 21
W, 3-0
Seton Hall
Shaw Field
RECAP

BEDN
Watch
October 21
L, 10-0
Uconn
Storrs, Conn.
RECAP

Live Stats
Watch
October 21
L, 3-0
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
RECAP
October 21
All Day
MAISA Womens Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
October 21
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 21
All Day
Kings Point Dinghy Open
Kings Point, N.Y.
October 22
1:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
Watch
October 22
9:30 AM
Richmond
Cooper Field
October 22
11:30 AM
Elon
Cooper Field
October 22
12:00 PM
Sacred Heart
Fairfield, Conn.

Live Stats
October 22
2:30 PM
Virginia Tech
Cooper Field
October 22
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 22
All Day
MAISA Womens Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
October 22
All Day
Kings Point Dinghy Open
Kings Point, N.Y.
October 22
All Day
Head of the Charles HW/LW
Boston, Mass.

Results
Championship 4+ - 1:16 p.m. Lightweight 4+ - 1:16 p.m. Lightweight 8+ - 1:48 p.m.
October 22
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 22
All Day
Head of the Charles
Boston, Mass.

Results
Lightweight 4+ - 1:30 p.m.
October 23
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 24
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 25
2:00 PM
Providence
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 26
2:00 PM
Xavier
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 27
2:00 PM
Villanova
Cooper Field
October 27
7:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
October 28
1:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
October 28
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
Watch
October 28
11:00 AM
James Madison
Cooper Field
October 28
12:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
October 28
1:00 PM
Maryland
Cooper Field
October 28
3:00 PM
Stony Brook
Cooper Field
October 28
All Day
Head of the Schuylkill LW only
Philadelphia, Pa.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 28
All Day
War Memorial Regatta
Geneva, N.Y.
October 29
1:00 PM
La Salle
Cooper Field
October 29
2:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.
October 29
All Day
War Memorial Regatta
Geneva, N.Y.
October 29
All Day
Princeton Chase
Princeton, N.J.
October 29
All Day
Princeton Chase HW/LW
Princeton, N.J.
October 30
All Day
USF Intercollegiate
TPC Tampa, Tampa, Fla.
October 31
All Day
USF Intercollegiate
TPC Tampa, Tampa, Fla.
November 1
2:00 PM
Creighton
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
November 3
4:00 PM
Rutgers/Pittsburgh/Seton Hall/Villanova
New Brunswick, N.J.
November 3
6:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena
November 3
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 3
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 3
All Day
ICSA Mens and Womens Singlehanded National Championships
Tampa, Fla.
November 4
2:00 PM
Lafayette Homecoming
Cooper Field
November 4
10:00 AM
Rutgers/Pittsburgh/Seton Hall/Villanova
New Brunswick, N.J.
November 4
6:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena
November 4
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 4
All Day
ICSA Mens and Womens Singlehanded National Championships
Tampa, Fla.
November 4
All Day
Head of the Occoquan HW/LW
Fairfax Station, Va.
November 4
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 4
All Day
Head of the Occoquan
Fairfax Station, Va.
November 5
All Day
ICSA Mens and Womens Singlehanded National Championships
Tampa, Fla.
November 5
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 5
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 10
6:00 PM
Marquette
Milwuakee, Wis.
November 10
All Day
NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Championships
Bethlehem, Pa.
November 10
All Day
NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Championships
Bethlehem, Pa.
November 11
12:00 PM
Bucknell
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 11
All Day
Coed Atlantic Coast Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
November 11
All Day
ICSA Match Racing National Championships
Charleston, S.C.
November 11
All Day
Womens Atlantic Coast Championships
New London, Conn.
November 12
12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Capital One Arena

FSN
TBD
November 12
2:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
November 12
All Day
ICSA Match Racing National Championships
Charleston, S.C.
November 12
All Day
Coed Atlantic Coast Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
November 12
All Day
Womens Atlantic Coast Championships
New London, Conn.
November 14
7:00 PM
Howard
McDonough Arena
November 15
7:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Capital One Arena

FS2
TBD
November 16
7:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Baltimore, Md.
November 17
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 17
6:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
November 18
1:00 PM
Colgate Senior Day
Cooper Field
November 18
12:00 PM
UMES
Capital One Arena

FSN
TBD
November 18
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 18
6:00 PM
Creighton
McDonough Arena
November 18
All Day
IC4A Championships
New York, N.Y.
November 18
All Day
NCAA Championships
Louisville, Ky.
November 18
All Day
NCAA Championships
Louisville, Ky.
November 18
All Day
ECAC Championships
New York, N.Y.
November 19
2:00 PM
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
November 19
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 24
8:30 PM
Auburn
Nashville, Tenn.
November 25
6:00 PM
Richmond
Richmond, Va.

TBD
TBD
November 25
8:30 PM
Chattanooga
Nashville, Tenn.
November 26
3:00 PM
Northwestern
Nashville, Tenn.
November 28
8:30 PM
Maine
Capital One Arena

FS1/FS2
TBD
November 29
7:00 PM
Florida International
McDonough Arena
December 3
6:30 PM
Coppin State
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 7
8:30 PM
Howard
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 7
7:00 PM
Minnesota
McDonough Arena
December 9
2:30 PM
North Carolina A&T
Capital One Arena

FS2
TBD
December 10
2:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C.
December 16
12:30 PM
Syracuse
Capital One Arena

CBS
TBD
December 20
7:00 PM
North Texas
Capital One Arena

FS2
TBD
December 21
6:00 PM
VCU
Richmond, Va.
December 23
12:00 PM
Alabama A&M
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 27
6:30 PM
Butler
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 28
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
Watch
December 30
4:30 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
TBD
December 30
2:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

BEDN
January 2
9:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

FS1
TBD
January 2
2:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 5
7:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 6
12:00 PM
Creighton
Capital One Arena

FSN
TBD
January 6
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 7
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 9
6:30 PM
St. Johns
New York, N.Y.

FS1
TBD
January 10
7:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 12
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
January 13
12:00 PM
Seton Hall
Newark, N.J.

FS1
TBD
January 13
1:00 PM
American/George Washington
Washington, D.C. (American University)
January 14
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.

BEDN
January 17
6:30 PM
Villanova
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
January 19
7:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 20
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
January 20
1:00 PM
Drexel
McCarthy Pool