the Baller’s Almanac: September 24, 2012

A tornado struck the University of Maryland 11 years ago today. The tornado – which killed two students – ripped past Cole Field House and into the northwestern portion of the Maryland campus. Terrapin alumnus Steve Francis, then a member of the Houston Rockets, was playing basketball at Cole when the Tornado hit. In the aftermath he was struck by the suffering on campus, and so he put in a call to the university administration to see what he could do to help. Francis suggested hosting a dinner for all of the students who had lost their housing, and so so two nights later Francis and several active members of the basketball team hosted a private dinner for over 100 displaced students, and barred the media from attending.

Five members of the basketball team – Lonny Baxter, Steve Blake, Earl Badu, Juan Dixon and Drew Nicholas were among those displaced by the storm.

On this date in 2011, Tate George was charged in a $2 million Ponzi scheme. The State alleges that George fronted a fake real estate holding company called the George Group, which supposedly claimed a portfolio in excess of 500 million. George reportedly duped investors into giving him over 2 million dollars, which he spent on himself. He has been charged with four counts of wire fraud, and each count is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in a federal penitentiary. The case is ongoing.

Today's birthdays include: Joe McNamee 1926 (San Francisco), Joe Bradley 1928 (Oklahoma State), Jim Holstein 1930 (Cincinnati), Jackie Moore 1932 (La Salle), Ronnie Williams 1944 (West Virginia), Connie Norman 1953 (Arizona), Brad Branson 1958 (SMU), Morlon Wiley 1966 (CSU-Long Beach), Cedric Lewis 1969 (Maryland), Rodrick Rhodes 1973 (USC), Drew Gooden 1981 (Kansas), Randy Foye 1983 (Villanova), Bobby Brown 1984 (CSU-Fullerton), and Perry Jones 1991 (Baylor)

Musician of the day: Fats Navarro, born on this day in 1923. One of the greatest trumpet players of all-time, but heard by few as he died at the age of 26.