One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for September 8, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
On October 2, 2015 as part of UNC Pembroke Homecoming Weekend a good friend is going to get recognized. Tony Dellinger will receive the UNC Pembroke Distinguished Service Award. Tony is a 1977 UNC Pembroke Graduate and former men’s basketball player.
Tony went to high school in Garner, NC back when it was a small town not a sprawling part of Raleigh, NC like today. Tony made some great friends while he went to school at UNCP. He was recruited to play for Coach Lacey Gane and wound up playing for not only him but the legendary Joe Gallagher.
While in college Tony began a friendship with many of his teammates. One of those teammates was Everett Hambrick who went on to become a medical doctor in Detroit Michigan. Tony and Everett kind of lost touch and then tragedy struck. Everett was killed in a car accident in 2011. Tony was really touched about how every day is a gift and became obsessed with getting to see all of his former teammates. Everett like Tony had come to UNCP to play basketball for Lacey Gane. Everett was from Montgomery County (NC). Tony reaction to hearing about Everett pass made him pledge that no other UNCP Basketball player would lose touch with one another. He became all in on organizing UNCP Basketball Reunions.
Tony started out just informally organizing UNCP basketball reunions but it became much more. Photo below from February 2015 event.
When he first started out he had moderate success with maybe 8 or 9 guys showing up. Tony never stopped sending emails, he called people, he begged people to come, and all of his tactics along with his passion for UNCP paid off. In 2015 his persistence and love of UNCP has paid off with nearly 75 former players coming back for the reunion, UNCP Men’s Basketball Awards, or Golf tournament.
The Friend-TONY DELLINGER-shown with his wife Rhonda at a Reunion
The Friend of the Friend-RHONDA DELLINGER
Tony Dellinger is going to get an award from the UNCP Alumni Association but I suspect that his wife is up for a more heavenly reward in monitoring Tony’s behavior at a UNCP Athletic Event. The man is unmerciful on any referee call that doesn’t go the Braves way. Sometimes all it takes is a look from Rhonda to get him back in line.
Tony married a beautiful women in Rhonda Godwin. She and Tony have two beautiful daughters named Erica and Elicia.
In Pembroke, NC people know, love, and respect the Dellinger family because they know they care about others. Rhonda husband is getting an award from the UNCP Alumni Association because of that family core value. They care.
I know that I will plan on being at Tony’s award presentation on October 2nd along with a lot of his former teammates. I also know that his wife Rhonda will be there also beaming with pride.
If there are no referees present she won’t even have to monitor his behavior by giving him that look to behave.