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Chris Mullin makes it to Broadway

Hall of Fame coach Lou Carnesecca gave Mullin the skills to coach Broadway.
Hall of Fame coach Lou Carnesecca gave Mullin the skills to coach Broadway.

Chris Mullin has been around the St. John's campus for a formal school honors for his inductions into the Naismith Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Hall of Fame. Yesterday, he was honored in Queens; tomorrow, he'll be celebrated in Manhattan.

You know about Mullin's Hall of Fame basketball exploits. But did you know Mullin is also coaching... on Broadway?

Next month, Broadway welcomes a new play, "Lysistrata Jones," based on the Greek play by Aristophanies. The original play focuses on the women of Greece who withhold sexual acts from the men to bring about the end of a war. A success in a small theater off-Broadway, this version modernizes the tale by setting the action around the basketball courts of fictional Athens University. The women withhold sweet loving until their menfolk win a basketball game.

And that's where Mullin comes in.

Chris Mullin, a friend of one of the play's producers, has been tutoring the actors on how to dribble, shoot, and have confidence with a basketball in a five-day basketball camp.

In gray sweat pants and a black T-shirt, the 6-foot-6 Mr. Mullin, a friend of one of the producers, quickly came to life when he hit the court, despite just arriving on a red-eye flight from his home near San Francisco. He encouraged cast bonding by cheering and applauding, even as balls went wildly out of bounds, and was careful not to overwhelm the actors with pointers...

In the first few hours of the camp, the actors displayed a whole gamut of skills. Alex Wyse, who plays a starter on the fictional Athens University squad, was cast despite having virtually no court experience, and his ball control and shooting technique were shaky as he began working with Mr. Mullin. (When told to go to half-court, Mr. Wyse replied, "What does that mean?") But after a couple of hours of instruction, like Mr. Mullin’s emphasis that "all your power comes from your legs," the slim Mr. Wyse was landing shots and high-fiving everyone nearby.

It's probably too late to see if some of the actors have hoops eligibility to help flesh out the Red Storm's roster...

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See the Baselines series - preseason looks at this year's roster