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Original Issue


In this, college basketball's high season (see page 14), two of the busiest people at SI are reporter Greg Kelly and picture researcher Eric Godwin. Kelly assists our writers by providing insights and research to augment their own and checks stories for factual accuracy. Godwin puts a loupe to the thousands of photo transparencies we accumulate from the tournament sites, selecting the best and brightest for showing to the editors.

The annals of college basketball record that John Thompson arrived at Georgetown University in 1972. Kelly arrived as a freshman the year before, if with considerably less fanfare. He is 6'3½", but no great shakes as a basketball player. "I'm just an intramural guy," he says. He did, however, once play in a pickup game with Thompson while at Georgetown. "It was a two-on-two game," says Kelly. "Thompson guarded Manny Leaks of the Capital Bullets, who was recovering from a knee injury, and I got to guard another gym rat." Although that game was the apogee of his basketball career, Kelly remains an aficionado, playing weekly with the Time Inc. basketball team.

While at Georgetown, much of Kelly's less formal schooling took place at the Warren Street Sporting Club, the name given to the six-bedroom house Kelly and five other Hoyas shared. "It was sort of an unchartered Animal House," he says.

Most of the WSSC gang also worked at E.J. O'Reilly's pub. Kelly was a natural as bartender, in part because he remembered the regular patrons' drinks, but primarily because of his total recall of sports trivia. His crowning moment as a trivialist was the deflation of a smart-aleck cab driver who challenged him to name the only person ever to play for the Rangers, Knicks and Yankees. Kelly not only provided the name—organist Eddie Layton—but also produced from his wallet, with great relish, Layton's autograph.

Godwin is another "intramural guy" who also has worked as a bartender, in the Oldtown section of Alexandria, Va. A graduate of Syracuse University, he majored in education and photography, which he taught briefly at Syracuse High School. He spent 2½ years with Time-Life Books, working on its revised photography series, then went to TV-CABLE WEEK. He joined SI four months after Kelly in 1983.

When the NCAAs are history, Godwin will have edited approximately 866 rolls of film from this year's tournament alone. A photographer himself, he has a sharp eye for images both on and off the job. "I like to photograph street scenes and people around New York," he says. "And I shoot in color, which helps me appreciate what our photographers have to deal with in the field."