Tragedy hits Nevada |

Tragedy hits Nevada

This has been a tragic year for the University of Nevada’s women’s basketball team.

The team has had to go through not one, but two, tragedies.

The most recent one came Thursday night when Mike Gervasoni, husband of head coach Kim Gervasoni and an assistant coach with the team, was killed in an auto accident on Moana Avenue.

That comes on the heels of the tragic news involving point guard Jocelyn Mancebo. The Nevada point guard was forced to quit the team when it was discovered that a brain tumor doctors discovered when she was in high school had gotten bigger and had moved.

Mancebo underwent surgery earlier this month and plans on returning to school. Her basketball career, however, is over.

I remember the 59-year-old Gervasoni from his younger days as a player at Santa Clara because the Broncos would make yearly trips to St. Mary’s College and my parents would always take me to those rivalry games. Let me tell you, the Cal-Stanford rivalry has nothing on the St. Mary’s-Santa Clara basketball rivalry.

I got to meet Mike back in the mid-70s when he brought his Silver Creek High boys team out to De La Salle for a three-day tournament. He was a pleasure to be around and a down-to-earth individual who was easy to talk with.

“It’s a very deep tragedy to the family, to this coaching staff, and the university,” said second-year assistant coach Kevin Chaney in a statement released by the Nevada sports information office. “Right now we are in a state of shock, but we are here to support Kim and the team. That is my main focus. The accident was a tragedy. It is unfortunate, but we are happy that Mike did not suffer. All our prayers and thoughts are with Kim and her family.”

Aaron DeWall, the women’s basketball contact, said that a moment of silence will be done at tonight’s football game against Tulsa.

You have to wonder whether Kim Gervasoni might take a leave of absence for the year, or whether she’ll be able to work through the tragedy that took her husband away from her.

(insert bullet) Speaking of Wolf Pack athletics, the university received a $178,000 gift from an anonymous donor to replace floor seating at Lawlor Events Center.

The new seats will be part of the premium seating program that was started last summer. The new program is expected to generate more than $1 million in scholarship revenue. The surcharges for the 340 new seats range from $1,000 to $1,500 not including the cost of the season ticket.

“We are so honored that a key donor has generously provided these new seats,” Nevada athletic director Cary Groth said in a press release. “These new seats, along with other amenities, will enhance the game-night experience of other key donors, but most importantly, will generate much needed scholarship revenues for all of our student-athletes.”

(insert bullet) Kudos to NIAA officials for making the best of a bad situation and to D’Andrea Golf Club in Sparks for allowing the girls’ state golf tournament to take place earlier this week.

The tournament was scheduled for ArrowCreek Country Club Wednesday and Thursday, but when officials arrived at the site on Wednesday morning there was snow on the course.

Jay Beesmeyer of the NIAA made a call to the D’Andrea course, and the tournament was switched. Unfortunately, the first day was wiped out when snow started falling and the players were pulled off the course after three holes. D’Andrea was able to host the tournament the next day, too, as ArrowCreek still had some snow on the course.

The only negative was that the tournament was shortened to 18 holes instead of the traditional 36. I would have liked to see the kids stay behind another day to complete the tournament.

I know the argument coming when I broach the subject. Coaches say that the kids will miss too much school, and that it would affect travel arrangements. The only school it might have affected would have been Bishop Gorman because the Gaels’ squad flew in from Vegas. The athletes from Clark County traveled via charter bus.

I sincerely think that missing one more day of school wouldn’t have been a big deal. I would hazard a guess that most of these golfers were B average or above students.

Of course the ideal thing would be to have a Saturday-Sunday format. Of course, you’d never get a golf course to give up its course on two weekend days because too much money would be lost.

(insert bullet) Nevada’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will have open practices at Lawlor Events Center Oct. 30.

The women’s team will have an open scrimmage from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Treats will be handed out by men’s and women’s players from 1 to 1:30 p.m. The men’s team will practice from 1:30 to 2 p.m.

There is a costume contest scheduled between 2 and 2:30 p.m.

Contact Darrell Moody at or 881-1281.