The folks over at The Basketball Jones shared the above photo of Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy from his playing days at State University of New York at Brockport. The Jones played a game and had readers guess which player was Stan Van (I guessed wrong). I’ll spare you the time and reveal that he’s that smiling young lad in the front row, second from the right.
But this photo amuses me for a couple reasons. For one, the obvious observation is that he is sans the mustache we’ve come to associate with Van Gundy. Second, he is considerably less chubby than he is today. And third, he actually looks happy. Usually when you watch an Orlando Magic game, Van Gundy has a pained look on his face for most of the game, even if the Magic are up by 20. And there was this Van Gundy gem, a video from when Van Gundy was introduced before a home game a few seasons ago:
Just the pairing of Van Gundy’s expression with the hyped PA announcer and the pump-up music gets me every single time I watch that.
I’m not sure what type of player Van Gundy was in college. The fact that he played at the unknown SUNY-Brockport might be some hint to his talent. But if this recent video of Van Gundy doing his best And-1 Mixtape Tour impression is any flashback to the past, even with his roundish midsection, then he might have been pretty decent.