Patriots Davey Enjoys
By Tim Coughlin
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — The Patriots proved they are champions again Sunday afternoon, but instead of Foxborough the place was Marlborough and the field was replaced with hardwood. Rohan Davey, Larry Izzo, Asante Samuel, Hank Poteat and former Patriot conerback Roland James weren't lost, but participating in an exhibition basketball game to raise money for the athletic department boosters at Marlborough High School.
Yet even though they were only playing for fun and a good cause, the now-traditional New England flare for drama found its way into the game. With 37 seconds left on the clock and the Patriots down four points to the "Marlborough Boosters All-Stars," comprised of Marlborough students, teachers and parents, Asante Samuel took the ball. Samuel quickly stormed down the court and stopped short, pulling up well beyond the three-point line and banking home a shot which surprised everyone in the gymnasium. Then, seconds later, the Patriots came up with a loose ball and once again Samuel drove coast to coast and laid the ball off the glass, missing it this time off the rim, but the shot was followed up by Davey with a putback to give the Patriots a lead they would hold onto with only seconds left in the game.
Members of the team sat down at a table beside the court to sign autographs during half-time. The event, which cost $15, $10 for students, raised money to support a scoreboard for the school's field hockey and softball teams and equipment for the athletic room. Even though Davey started up a good-natured argument with the referees a few times, he said he enjoyed the day because it was an event more for fun and getting students a better athletic environment rather than for being competitive.
"I just wanted to come out and have a good time," Davey said with a smile as he wiped the sweat off his brow after the game. "The fans like to see us playing another sport."
Davey served as the big man on the court, garnering the nickname of "mini-Shaq" from the announcer. His 6-foot-2-inch, 245 pound frame made him hard to defend in the paint for the Marlborough students and booster club members. Meanwhile, cornerback Hank Poteat served as the sharpshooter on the team, converting three consecutive three-pointers at one stretch in the first quarter to give the team an early 12 point lead.
After the game, the players had to make a quick exit so they could make it home to get ready for the Super Bowl championship ring celebration at Patriots owner Robert Kraft's house in Brookline later that night. The ceremony was held at Kraft's house for the second year in a row.
"I missed it last year because I was playing in Europe," Davey said about the celebration. The quarterback won NFL Europe's Offensive Player of the Year award last season as a member of the Berlin Thunder, leading them to a World Bowl championship. "It should be fun though, I'm definitely looking forward to it."
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