the Baller’s Almanac: September 22, 2012

It was 20 years ago today that Diamond D released his Best Kept Secret video, starring Anthony Mason. Mason – a Tennessee State grad – plays basketball in the video, dunking on various New York City courts.

It's Lute Olson's birthday, born in Mayville, North Dakota in 1934. Olson played college basketball at tiny Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Immediately following his graduation he took a position as a high school basketball coach, and remained one (at various schools) for the next thirteen years. From there he moved on to Long Beach City College, and ultimately to Long Beach State.

He was only at Long Beach State for a year, but it was enough to launch his Hall of Fame career. Olson led Long Beach State to an undefeated conference record (22-2 overall) and a Mountain West Championship. From there he jumped to Iowa, to rebuild the Hawkeye program. It took him five years to turn the program around, but then he led them to five consecutive NCAA appearances, including the 1980 Final Four.

With Iowa raised to a level of national prominence, Olson made a surprising move to the University of Arizona, which, at the time, was a program in need not of rebuilding, but of building. The program had three NCAA appearances in its history prior to the arrival of Coach Olson.

Two years in they reached their fourth NCAA Tournament. The following season they won their first ever Pac-10 Title. That was the beginning of a 23-year streak where Arizona reached the NCAA Tournament (and that reached 25 following his retirement). During that streak Arizona appeared in four Final Fours, and won it all in 1991.

Erratic behavior and family problems led to his retirement immediately prior to the 2007-08 season. Five days after his retirement it was revealed that Olson had suffered a stroke nearly a year earlier.

Other birthdays include: Al Brightman 1923 (Charleston), Larry Jones 1942 (Toledo), Pace Mannion 1960 (Utah), Luther Wright 1971 (Seton Hall), Bill Edwards 1971 (Wright State) Gary Trent 1974 (Ohio), and Jannero Pargo 1979 (Arkansas)

Musician of the day: Nick Cave, frontman for the Bad Seeds, born on this date in 1957.