The UVA- Sarasota-Bradenton Connection

The UVA- Sarasota-Bradenton Connection

The phone rang at about 11:50pm last night.

All during the NCAA Basketball Championship my son Bryan and I were texting about the fabulous game we were watching. Texting during games that our favorite teams are playing in… The Mets, Jets, Islanders & UVA is a ritual. We have been doing it for many years!

His phone call was to congratulate me on the win, our first championship for one of our teams in over 30 years. I felt the jubilation and excitement in his voice. “Dad, we did it and I love you so much”, is what he said to me. I did not get much sleep last night and I am sure he didn’t either!

Our connection with UVA goes back to the late 90’s when my son attended The University of Virginia in Charlottesville. It’s one of the most prestigious schools in the country with a storied history.



The game last night, oh wow, what can I say? Last year UVA made history by being the first team in NCAA history to be seeded #1 and lose in the first round to the #16 seed, UMBC. The team was out to prove something this year and they certainly did. The cardiac kids came through winning several of their games at the buzzer and the championship in over-time! It was one of the best championship games of all time.

I am so proud of the basketball program at UVA led by Coach Tony Bennett. He has built quite a program.

As for my son, when he called me Saturday night after we won a thriller “final four” game against Purdue, I thought that was just so cool. Last night’s phone call and the “I love you” brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.  I hope when his 3 boys leave the nest the “texting” tradition during sporting events for our favorite teams will carry on!

It’s another item to scratch off of my bucket list.

Photo credit- Matt Riley, UVA Athletics


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Coach Tony Bennett, Matt Riley UVA Athletics, NCAA Basketball Championship, Sande Caplin, University of Virginia

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