ector Blond et: 'father' of team and a free spirit By JOHN FLYNN Courier-Journal Times Staff Writer Responsibility weighs heavily on Hector Blondet. "I sit around and think about it," he said. "Here I am a co-captain, which means I have to set a good example for the younger players. I feel like a father for a whole basketball team. "And I have a three-week-old daughter. Wow! Me, Hector Blondet, married and a father. Wonder of wonders. "It has me all tangled up right now. I guess I'm just going to have to think about it some more." Hector Blondet an exemplary example of conduct for Murray State's younger, impressionable players; a married man, a father? It boggles the mind. Was Suspended Twice A year ago Blondet was suspended from the Murray team not once but twice by coach Cal Luther. It was rumored that Luther made a bed check and found only a bed in Hector's room. As a result, many figured Hector's collegiate career, which began with a bus trip from Brooklyn to Paducah Community College, was over. But they did not take into account the cham and persistence of Blondet, who is a native of Puerto Rico, a product of the streets of New York, and good enough basketball player to have made All-Ohio Valley Conference first team two jears ago. After his second suspension, which was handed out by Luther on a Sunday morning in Richmond, Ky., following a Saturday night game with Eastern Kentucky, Bloncet took a bus back to Murray while the team went on to Morehead for anothar game. At the conclusion of the season he visited Luther's office. "I walked in," recalled Blondet "and coach looked at me and said, 'start talking.'" An agreement was reached whereby Hector could rejoin the team. "Technically, I'm under the same rules and restrictions as the other players," said Blondet. "However, I'm not foolish enough to think this is the case.'r Blondet says very little about the suspensions. "I did a lot of things for which I'm sorry," he admitted, "but it 'wasn't all that bad, really." i. Despite their differences Blondet and Luther, similar in strong will and intelligence, have retained respect for each other. , "Hector's not a bad egg like a lot of people suppose," said Luther. "He's a free spirit. In fact, I have liked very few of my players more than I like him. But one thing about him, he doesn't, recognize too many rules particularly those made by other people." ; , Blondet, meanwhile, said ' Luther's players had to understand his style. "He rips his coat off and starts screaming, but that's his style," said Hector. "He's a helluva coach and he didn't give me a whole lot of bull before he reinstated me." Although Blondet and Luther have made an apparently binding peace, Hector still retains some individualistic ideas on how basketball players should behave. "Take a football player," said Hector. "He's got a reputation for being wild and a hell raiser. Not the basketball player. He's a cool party man. "If a coach takes his team on the road and lodges it. 15 miles out of town, away from the campus and all, the players spend half the night running up - and down the halls of a motel acting silly," continued Blondet. "It also becomes a challenge to get away from the place. "Any good player has to find a way to get himself up for the game and laying around in a motel for eight hours is not the way. I'm not talking about doing anything bad, I'm talking about living. For example, I love to walk on a campus and have students recognize me and say 'there goes Hector Blondet. Hey Hector, baby, we're gonna do it to you tonight.' "That's the fun of it. The friends you make, the people you meet and the re- I Li M 33 v j STATrf Pro sports calendar Amvrivan Basketball Association Western Division Team W, L, Pet. Utah 24 12 .667 Indiana 22 1 5 .595 Memphis 21 18 .538 Denver U 23 ,378 385 Texas 14 24 .368 .390 .615 .457 .421 astern Division Team w. L. Pet. Virginia ... 28 12 .700 KENTUCKY . 24 15 New York 16 20 Floridians 16 22 Carolina 15 24 Pittsburgh ... 16 25 WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS Pittsburgh 125, KENTUCKY 118. Virginia 124, New York 123. Texas 113, Memphis 104. Carolina 136, Denver 132. LAST NIGHT'S RESULT Virginia 127, Carolina 117. TONIGHT'S GAMES Midwest Divisian , Team W. L. Pet. Milwaukee ... 29 7 .806 Detroit .26 14 .650 Chicago 23 1 6 .590 Phoenix 23 19 .548 WESTERN CONFERENCE Pacilic Division Team w. L. Pet. Los Angeles ...22 1 5 . 595 San Francisco 23 1 9 .548 San Dieso 21 20 ,512 Seattle 18 22 .450 Portland 12 28 .300 WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS New York 111, San Francisco 103. Philadelphia 119, Milwaukee 107. Detroit 119, Cincinnati 115. Baltimore 106, Buffalo 90. Seattle 128, Chicago 109. Phoenix 132,. Los Angeles 114. LAST NIGHT'S RESULTS Staff Photo HECTOR BLONDET, suspended from Murray's basketball team a year ago, now feels he has to set a good, example for his younger teammates. membrances you leave yourself. You sure aren't going to have anything to remember playing a monk in some moteL" In Blondet's opinion, college basketball is a job. "We're on scholarship," he said, "and our job is to play basketball. If you have a bad knee they put some 'Red Hot' on it and tell you it doesn't hurt. The same thing for your, back if it hurts. If you crack a finger, you put a splint on it and play. So why not something for a hangover?" Blondet said he still remembers his days at Boys High in Brooklyn "when we'd go out the night before the game, the night of the game and the night after the game. It was fun, real fun," he added, "but with the drugs and all, Boys High has gone downhill." Following graduation from Murray, Hector, who is a speech major, said he hoped to work with boys in Brooklyn or Puerto Rico. "I feel it is my destiny to do this," he said, "because I've received so much help along the way." Trouble in Puerto Rico He played basketball in Puerto Rico last summer, although not without the difficulty which seems to follow him wherever he goes. "The basketball federation down there had a rule that only Puerto Ricans could play," explained Hector. "So all the newspapers said 6-foot-8, 250-pound Hector Blondet was coming down to tear up everybody. "So I showed up at 6-foot-4 and a skinny 185 pounds. With my 'natural' hair style and thick lips, those people refused to believe I was Puerto Rican. I had to get papers and everything to prove it. And the fans, who were expecting some giant after reading the papers, threw rocks at me all summer. I had my taste of being the star and I don't want any more of it."