Allen Crabbe clapped his hands toward the roaring crowd. Richard Solomon shook his hips and danced. Senior reserve Robert Thurman pumped his fist lightly, just thankful for a chance to play again.
About the only difference between Haas Pavilion and HP Pavilion turned out to be 50 miles, two letters and one monumental stage in the NCAA tournament.
Buoyed by the support of a strong contingent so close to the Berkeley campus, Crabbe had 19 points and nine rebounds, Thurman scored all 12 of his points on dunks and 12th-seeded California held off fifth-seeded UNLV 64-61 in the second round Thursday.
You gotta appreciate that the Thurmanator, Robert Thurman, had twelve points, all dunks as noted above. He can thank his Marine Corps Mom, Shelley Thurman, for his strength:
Born at Camp Pendleton near San Diego, Thurman learned from a young age how to adjust in any given situation. He moved eight or nine times growing up — he lost track — as a military brat and became accustomed to the difficulties of saying goodbye to close friends along the way. His mom often faced long deployments, so Thurman and his younger sister spent much of their time with dad.
“We always had that one, solid parent around,” Shelley Thurman said. “When we moved, we tried to make that transition as smooth as possible. They’d help us pack, they’d help us tour the community.”
These days, Shelley Thurman has slightly more flexibility in her schedule and can see her son play. Retired from the Marine Corps in 2008, she lives outside Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California and currently works at the same desk she did while in the military — serving as a government contractor supervising civilian helicopter mechanics.
Thurman respected his mother’s input and insistence that he pursue his goals, never daring not to listen to her because his father “was just so big and scary.”
“She would definitely get on my case,” Thurman recalled.
He appreciates her for giving him that extra push along the way.
Robert Thurman is not related to the other Robert Thurman, father of Uma.
Syracuse, you are next!