Brooklyn Boro

Does Oral Roberts have another miracle in store?

March 23, 2021 Andy Furman
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Expect a Miracle.

They did – not once, but twice.

Oral Roberts University’s basketball team is in the NCAA’s Sweet Sixteen.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

They defeated The Ohio State University — a second-seed — in overtime, 75-72 in the Opening Round.

And beat seventh-seed, University of Florida, 81-78, Sunday.

That’s great news if you’re a Golden Eagles fan — but rough on your bracket.

Who knew?

I had a hunch — I worked for the late Rev. Roberts at his University as the school’s Sports Information Director.

Make that the first Jewish employee on campus — and wow was I greeted with some special “gifts” via the inter-office mail.

Try a bible – the New Testament of course. What else would be expected in the private Evangelical university?

Next was an interview in the school newspaper — The Oracle — they stated it was God’s choice I was delivered to the school.

I guess you can’t believe everything you read.

But the Rev. Roberts apparently did. I’d send him and the Athletic Director Bob Brooks clips from my Brooklyn Eagle Scholastic Roundup column.

The school had several New Yorker’s on the basketball roster – Arnold Dugger from DeWitt Clinton High School, and Lafayette High’s Arthur (Stretch) Graham.

I’d make mention, rip and tear and send to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

And alas, without any expectation, the call from Brooks came — along with a plane ticket.

I was hooked – big-time basketball. They were a national independent back then, and the Mabee Center had some 11,000 seats. About 9,000 more than little St. Francis College of Brooklyn, where I had toiled.

This was my miracle.

And then the surprises came — one-by-one.

Must wear a tie in the office — coaches, too. Check.

Chapel services twice weekly from 11 a.m. till noon.

Yikes, what to do? I didn’t – and still don’t – know how to speak in tongues.

That’s when I met the Reverend Roberts – face-to-face.

“And,” he said, and I remember like it was yesterday, “if you’re not comfortable attending Chapel services, I understand.”

I went – some great speakers over the three years on campus.

Oral – I was able to call him that – always sat right behind the bench – first row – at home games. And if he didn’t get his stat sheet at half-time – or the final box score at game’s end he’d look for me.

Never happened – he got ‘em – and sometimes he’d be on the road with us as well.

Budgets and money was never a problem. When I asked for the money for printing our basketball media guide, I was told, “Just get it done.”

The guide was all-color – permissible then by the NCAA – and cost more than my first car. In fact, the College Sports Information Directors of America voted it third-best guide in the nation that year.

It’s Oral Roberts and third-seed Arkansas this Saturday evening. The Golden Eagles lost to the Razorbacks, 87-76 on December 20.

Who cares?

I’m expecting a Miracle.

I’ve already seen two.
Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected]

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