Tag Archives: John Mastromattei

Me and the Olympian: Scott Russell

Well, I saw film tonight, getting ready to sleep, of Scott Russell (Windsor boy) screaming or howling and growling after throwing a javelin. Yes, in Beijing. It was bizarre to see, because I had never seen him in action since he left Windsor to go to Kansas University in the US. I knew he was doing shot-put, maybe even discus, and now I see a guy with a reddish beard post-fling, and I’m thinking, “Was that dude in red and white? That might have been Scotty.”

So I go online and I find the image and story above of Scott, which was extremely uplifting. A proud moment. Yeah, I know, I see the Olympics for what it is to the people running the show, but I still appreciate the skill, finesse, strength, ability and dedication it takes to be an elite athlete. And to see Mr. Russell there, representing Windsor and Canada was awesome.

How do I know Scott. Simple. He and his brother were twin towers in sports (basketball of course) at F. J. Brennan High School. I had to play against him. It wasn’t fun, because the guy is massive, and skilled.

Flash forward to the summer of grade 10, when I make the Ontario travel basketball team (Riverside) that tons of great players tried out for, all hoping to be among all-stars. John Mastromattei, and Bill Davis, and I (all from Catholic Central High School) make the team. We are now shoulder to shoulder with the guys we despise all year long. Of course we formed a friendship with one another, which was shocking at first due to the vitriol we had for one another all season, but it was a majorly rewarding experience.

Ron Crumb, J.R. Bias, Ron Andriash (spelling?), John Fletcher, Marvin Caston, and several others joined Scott Russell, knowing him as the huge guy (6’9”) in the middle…not so much as the future Olympian who weighs 269 pounds and throws a spear over 80 meters! The story of his trials and tribulations to get to the Olympics can be read HERE.

We roomed together, and we got along quite well, as he was an extremely quiet guy, and a dedicated athlete when on the court.

Having come home tonight from playing with some pretty wicked basketball players (at the University of Windsor Student Centre gym) and some great kids who make up the Windsor Filipino team who will be traveling and competing, I felt it was a good time to remember Scott in this blog. Tonight, playing with guys who I haven’t seen/played with in YEARS AND YEARS brought up the nostalgia of what it means to be on a team of extremely talented guys.

And after I saw Scotty on the TV I thought, “Shit, shouldn’t I know he’s there? I mean, I like this guy, and I want him to medal…so I gotta see how he’s doing.” From what I can tell, he’s still in the running, and I encourage you to follow his quest for a medal.

Good luck Scott!