I have given thought to why my interest in college hoops is at an all time low, I have a couple of theories but haven't settled on one reason that has resulted in my lack of interest. I do know the fact that my alma mater's lack of consistent competitiveness hasn't helped. USC has a very nice facility and should be able to draw from the vast amount of Southern California talent but we have never put together a consistently solid program.
When I was in school we had a great 2 year stretch in 1991-1992. Our head coach was George Raveling and we had some very solid players like Robert Pack and Duane Cooper along with 1 legitimate superstar in Harold Miner. His accolades included 3-time All American, 3-time All-Pac-10, Pac-10 Freshman of the Year (1990), Sports Illustrated National Player of the Year (1992) and Pac-10 Player of the Year (1992). His NBA career was short lived but he was a 2-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion. He was also nicknamed Baby Jordan which I believe ended up being more of a curse than a blessing.
In addition to attending school with Miner, we were also neighbors and while not friends we were solid acquaintances. We lived on the same floor in Century Apartments and 2 doors and across the hallway from each other. I had an iron, he had an ironing board and we often shared. Once he asked to borrow my basketball and invited me to come down to our apartment hoops court and shoot with him. We ended up playing HORSE and after I got on a hot streak and got 3 or 4 letters on him he looked at me, started dribbling from half quarter, approached the rim at top speed after a cross over dribble and performed a ridiculous reverse 2 handed slam dunk. He quietly approached me with the ball and stared me down as he handed it to me. We had agreed no dunking (I am a 6' white guy with no hops) but I recognized the situation and took a letter. He started raining jumpers and took the game. It was awesome and a highlight of my time in school.
As you can imagine, Miner is one of my favorite players of all time and I collected his cards back in the day. Short of a few rare releases, I had most of his cards from his playing days. Until a few months back, I wasn't aware that Upper Deck had started putting him in new products and when a couple base and inserts popped up on my LCS bid board I got very excited. I picked them up and did a quick search and discovered he has quite a few cards out there from the last 3 years of hoop releases. As you can imagine the card collector in me has started having fun.
I have my sights set on some new Miner cards and will probably get a few in an upcoming COMC delivery. I have also found a source for a few of the rarer cards from his playing days that I plan on picking up to plug holes in my player collection. The baseball collector in me is very disappointed with the lack of Upper Deck baseball offerings but cards like these show they are still on their game in the areas they can be. My Miner collection is full speed ahead again.