Monday, October 12th, 2009...11:49 pm

SJU #21: Malik Sealy

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If I ever write the book on happiness, one of my key principles would be to decorate your living space with things that make you happy. Last week, I hung up a framed Malik Sealy jersey on the wall in my apartment. Every time I look over at it, I’m happy.

Malik Sealy was and is my favorite athlete of all time (actually, it’s a tie with Donnie Baseball but you get the point). I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to ever like players as much you do when you’re a little kid (with the one possible exception being my friend Roy and his infatuation with Francisco Cervelli).

I was always kind of impressed with the way Malik carried himself both on and off the court. He seemed cool, confident and in control of any situation that he faced. He was thoughtful and low key and didn’t feel the need to unnecessarily grab attention. If athletes really are role models for kids, I tried to follow the lead of Malik Sealy.

It was really strange and surreal when I learned that he tragically passed away in a car accident in the summer of 2000. I decided to write about him as a way to express my feelings and deal with the death. A few years later I put the essay up on and you can read it here.

By the way, my sister Lisa got the jersey for me a few years ago. She remembered that a family friend used to be a big St. John’s fan and tracked him down. He was more than happy to give her the jersey as it was just sitting in his closet. She gave it to me on my birthday and it was one of the coolest presents ever. It took a few years for me to get it framed because…well, because I’m me.

BTW, the other things on my wall are….

  • Photo of me looking at the Western Wall in Israel
  • Wood carved mural of Yankee Stadium that I’ve had since I’m four years old
  • Framed photo playing checkers with my Poppy
  • Photo of my house in San Diego with my dad in it (photgraphed and printed by my mom)
  • Hologram poster of Mariano Rivera (random and goofy)
  • Michigan Flag is hanging in the bathroom

I decided I’m missing a few things. It would be a great photo of my entire family, a good shot of the backyard at my country house in the summer, and some La Jolla Cove action!

  • Sugar

    One of the girls in our Fire Island house two summers ago was the granddaughter of the guy who started (and then owned) the TWolves…we talked about Malik Sealy one night, she had a ton of stories. Great guy.

  • MavsRock

    I have always lived in Texas, but I grew up following St. John's basketball. Malik was my favorite player as well, and I would love to have a framed Malik jersey. That is awesome. Thanks for the writings on Malik, he was a great player and I'm sure he is missed a lot by his family.