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Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
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Memphis Blazer Offline
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Post: #1
Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
Could someone sticky this. I would like this thread to be where everyone posts their favorite memories of UAB's tallest Blazer.

I'll start by reposting what I wrote about him last year when I named him to the Top 30 Greatest Blazers list. I am so glad that UAB was able to go back and honor him along with Paul Delaney for his triple double, and I am happy I was able to play a part in that (It shows that sometimes my obsession has its rewards)

Quote:19. Alan Ogg (1986-1990)

This is the story of Alan Ogg, #19 on the list of Greatest Blazers and UAB’s first seven footer.

[Image: 09F.jpg]

Alan Ogg was born in Lancaster Ohio in 1967. When he was seven years old, his mother died of heart trouble and he began to travel from state to state with his father a construction worker. For young Ogg, who was starting to show signs of being extremely tall, he was never in a school long enough to make friends. Because of his height, he was teased by other kids as kids often pick on the new kid in school. As a result, Alan became shy and awkward. When he was fourteen, he moved to Mount Olive, Alabama to live with his maternal grandparents. By then he was 6’4 and wore a size fourteen shoe.

When Alan entered high school, he had a ninth grade history teacher at Gardendale High School by the name of Jimmy Armstrong, who happened to be the varsity basketball coach. Armstrong asked Alan if he played basketball, and Ogg stated that he had been cut from the junior varsity. Armstrong immediately corrected that and began teaching Ogg the game of basketball. Ogg was totally unfamiliar with the game and had never even watched a game on TV at that point. Ogg reported that he did not enjoy the game at first because he was not good at it. He could not even catch the ball.

However, the one thing Ogg had was determination and heart. He kept working at it and his talents began to grow. By the time he entered his senior year at Gardendale, he was approaching seven feet tall and he averaged 21 points, 13.9 rebounds and 6.7 blocked shots per game. He received an honorable mention as an All American from Street and Smith’s Basketball Yearbook and caught the eye of several college coaches, including Alabama and North Carolina. Dean Smith visited Gardendale to try and coax him to North Carolina, but Ogg wanted to stay close to home, having traveled too much as a child and not wanting to leave his grandparents. He decided to stay local and play for Gene Bartow and the UAB Blazers.

As a freshman, Ogg started slowly, but came on strong later in the season and showed great improvement in the final weeks of the season. It was a rough season for the gangly freshman. Because of his unique name and tall, skinny frame, opposing fans had a field day picking on him, just as those kids long ago enjoyed picking on the new kid. At South Florida, students wore Ogg cutout masks and each time Alan looked in the stands, he saw a mocking sea of his own face. In his fourth game as a Blazer, UAB traveled to California to play Stanford, and it was reported that he was ridiculed so bad that he came off the
floor in tears, angry because five thousand Stanford fans were chanting his name in a derogatory manner.

One thing Blazer fans learned that when Ogg got angry, his game improved. In January, the Blazers played at Jacksonville. Ogg who averaging about a point per game, dunked the basketball midway through the game, and exchanged angry words with Jacksonville star Ronnie Murphy. From that point, Ogg played like a man possessed. He scored 14 points, including 6 for 6 from the line, grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots. His inspired play fired the rest of the team up and they won the game 81-80 in overtime. His performance earned him the Eastern Airlines Player of the Game. He averaged 2.3 points per game, and blocked 30 shots throughout the season. He was named to the Sun Belt All Freshman team at the end of the year.

Ogg had the classic sophomore slump during his second year as a Blazer. In the Great Alaskan Shootout, he suffered a severe toe sprain and missed four games early. He never fully recuperated, and did not play well the rest of the season and averaged 2.2 points per game. His blocked shots total was 16, nearly half of the previous season.

During the summer following his sophomore year, Ogg entered a vigorous conditioning program and the results were immediately evident. He became a dependable starter and became a shot blocking monster. In December 1988, he came within two blocks of breaking the single-game NCAA blocked shot record held by Navy’s David Robinson. Late in the game, Ogg had 12 blocks and Coach Bartow pulled him out and told him to go after anything to try and block. Ogg was unaware of the record and did not know what Bartow was talking about. He was unable to break the NCAA record, but did set the school record for most blocks in a game. In the Florida A&M game, he scored 14 points, had 12 blocks and 10 rebounds – the only known triple double ever registered at UAB.

Ogg was the only Blazer to start every game that year and averaged 9.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. He also had 129 blocks that season. He capped off a successful season with a game winning dunk on an assist by Barry Bearden in the final second of an overtime game against Michigan State in the NIT Consolation game.

Ogg continued to work in the off season to become a better player. In the summer before his senior year, he attended Pete Newell’s camp for big men. He continued to work on his offensive game, but his defense remained his strength. He blocked 91 more shots in his senior year, for a total of 266 blocks in his career, UAB and Sun Belt records which still stand today. Ogg’s best game as a senior came against Alabama State in which he went 12 for 12 from the field scoring 24 points, another UAB record for field goal efficiency. Alan Ogg averaged 10.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He was named second team All Sun Belt at the end of the season.

After playing four years at UAB, Ogg went undrafted by the NBA, but had more than 15 teams interested in him. He signed as a free agent with the Miami Heat and was paid the league minimum of $130,000. He immediately became a crowd favorite. By all accounts he was not a very good player, but was on the team mainly because he was 7’2”. The Heat during the early 1990’s were a struggling expansion team and fans would yell “OGG” wanting him to be put in the game. His teammates would say that the crowds loved Ogg because he epitomized hard work and dedication. Others theorized that the fans needed Ogg and his flailing elbows and awkward game to distract them from how bad the Heat was playing. For whatever the reason, the Heat fans developed a love affair with Alan Ogg, which many remember fondly to this day. During his two years with the Heat, he averaged 1.7 points per game his first year and 2.5 points per game his second year. He scored a total of 162 points in two seasons with the Heat. He was waived on November 4, 1992.

Ogg played in only six games in the NBA during 1992-93. He was picked up by the Milwaukee Bucks on a ten game contract and then by the Washington Wizards on a 10 game contract. He eventually played overseas, as shown in this picture.

[Image: ogg.jpg]

Ogg played off and on overseas until 2002 and then returned to Birmingham. In 2003, he almost died and had to have open heart surgery to replace a mitral valve. Today, he can be seen at many UAB games, and enjoys playing bass guitar in a bluegrass-gospel band called the Rusty Nails which features a Birmingham police officer, a 92 year old pianist and a 12 year old guitarist. Mirroring his cult status in Miami, his name has inspired a punk rock band in Birmingham to name their band “Alan Ogg” This makes Ogg the only player in Blazer history to have a punk rock band named for him.
11-01-2009 08:46 PM
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Smaug Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
I met him this year, at the USM game (I believe) when he and PD3 were honored for their triple-doubles. I spoke to him briefly in the concourse, and I think Little Smaug came up to his belly button. He was soft-spoken and very gracious.
11-01-2009 08:58 PM
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the_blazerman Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
In his first year at UAB, I remember the Jacksonville games where they would put in their 7 footer - Emmit Smith, I think & we would put in our 7 footer. Alan got the better of him.
11-01-2009 09:15 PM
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jaymay2525 Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
Alan was friends with my high school basketball coach, who also played at UAB (Bruce Baker) and he would come scrimmage with us and took a few road trips with us. Alan was such a gentle giant. It was hysterical watching his 7 foot frame fit into the little hatchback car he drove.

Alan was a great person. I saw him last year for the first time since High School and he remembered me and we were able to catch up. It's easy for me to remember him, but for him to remember a high school kid from 13 years ago says alot about the attention that Alan paid to the people around him.

I just found out about his death this morning. UAB has lost a giant and it is a sadder place without him.
11-02-2009 09:10 AM
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Post: #5
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
Alan will be missed, but never forgotten. He was truly one of the good guys. Many of us watched as he grew from a gangly, shy kid (who often seemed embarrassed when he was on the court) into a force under the basket. He didn't smile much, but when he did it lit up the court.

I had the pleasure of greeting him at several games. He was always gracious with his time, and clearly loved UAB. A special guy and a true gentle giant.
11-02-2009 11:27 AM
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legalblazer Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
I found this and thought it was cool...
______________________________________________

WHY THE NBA ISN'T AS OFFENSIVE AS YOU THINK

A PRIMMER ON THE BRUTAL ART OF DEFENSE IN PRO BASKETBALL'S TRENCHES

DAVE BARRY
Herald Tropic staff writer

<-snip->

It's 10 nights after the Sacramento game, and the Heat, to the delight of the Miami fans, are slaughtering the New York Knicks. Even Rothstein would probably admit, under torture, that the game is out of reach. This is what's known as Garbage Time, because play gets sloppy, and players can score easy baskets. Rothstein's lineup now includes Alan Ogg, a rookie center who has had little playing time. Ogg is not considered to be highly talented. What he is considered to be is seven feet, two inches. He moves with a slow, lumbering gait, but he works very hard. In the Heat practices I watched, every chance he got, he slam- dunked the ball. It was as if he knew he wouldn't get many chances to do it in games, so he was determined to do it when he could. They'd run a little drill, and at the end somebody'd feed the ball to Ogg, and WHOMP he'd stuff it hard through the hoop, then look at the floor kind of bashfully, because after all, it was only practice. Sometimes the other players would smile. They've affectionately nicknamed Ogg "Ogglajuwan," after Akeem Olajuwan, the very gifted center of the Houston Rockets.

Ogg is a cult figure among Heat fans. They go nuts when he comes into a game.

"Oggggg!!" they shout. "OGGGGGGGG!!!!" It sounds like thousands of people simultaneously getting sick.

There are just a few seconds left in Garbage Time, and the Heat have the ball. In fact Grant Long has the ball, and he's actually dribbling it, an indication that things are very loose indeed.

Now Long is in the lane, close to the basket. The defense is slack. This is an easy shot opportunity, a chance to pad his statistics in a meaningless moment, to indulge in a little self- gratification, and so Long . . . passes off to Alan Ogg, standing under the basket. Ogg rears up - he doesn't really have to jump - and WHOMP jams that mother home.

"OGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!" goes the crowd, high-fiving, insane with joy. Grant Long, unsung hero, churns back up the court.
11-02-2009 11:45 AM
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Lou-A-B Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
He was the first Blazer Alum to be in a video game, NBA JAMS. I'm not sure what home game is was, but I bumped into him and explained he was unstoppable in that game. He was cracking up about it.
11-02-2009 12:32 PM
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BlazerFromMD Away
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Post: #8
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
A great guy. He will be missed.

[Image: alanogg.jpg]
11-02-2009 02:06 PM
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ncblazer Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
I was a kid when Alan Ogg roamed the lane for the Blazers. I used to have my birthday parties at the UAB games, and I remember that Alan used to stop by the party room under the arena after the game to meet me and my friends. I had my picture taken with him every year. For a while, those pictures served as a growth chart...I think I eventually got up to his waist! He was definitely a favorite back then-- a genuinely nice guy who made this kid's birthday complete every year.

I was so saddened last night to hear of Alan's death. He will be missed! Condolences to his family and friends.
11-02-2009 05:13 PM
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Post: #10
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
I knew Alan quite well, as we were both undergraduates together at UAB. I worked part time in sports information, and saw him often in the Bart. He often told me I was one of the largest non-athletes he knew.

I sat with him at that sports bar in Fultondale on draft night. When he wasn't selected, he was quite disappointed, but the phone started ringing shortly thereafter with numerous offers. The funniest part of the night was Rick Karle needing to borrow crates to stand on so he and Alan would be in the same shot for the live broadcast for channel 6.

My favorite, funniest memory, though, was at a press conference before the Sun Belt tournament was set to start. He was sitting with Jack Kramer. Someone asked Jack what impressed him about Alan. Jack looked at the camera, and said, in all seriousness, "Well, most people would say his shot-blocking ability, or his agility. I think it's the fact he has a schlong as big as my arm." Alan turned about 40 shades of red, and left the Green and Gold Room. Everyone else was in tears of laughter. Coach Bartow reprimanded Kramer, but after the press conference, even coach was laughing about it hysterically. Ogg, however, never found it funny.
11-02-2009 06:02 PM
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Post: #11
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
(11-02-2009 06:02 PM)Grammar-Nazi Wrote:  I knew Alan quite well, as we were both undergraduates together at UAB. I worked part time in sports information, and saw him often in the Bart. He often told me I was one of the largest non-athletes he knew.

I sat with him at that sports bar in Fultondale on draft night. When he wasn't selected, he was quite disappointed, but the phone started ringing shortly thereafter with numerous offers. The funniest part of the night was Rick Karle needing to borrow crates to stand on so he and Alan would be in the same shot for the live broadcast for channel 6.

My favorite, funniest memory, though, was at a press conference before the Sun Belt tournament was set to start. He was sitting with Jack Kramer. Someone asked Jack what impressed him about Alan. Jack looked at the camera, and said, in all seriousness, "Well, most people would say his shot-blocking ability, or his agility. I think it's the fact he has a schlong as big as my arm." Alan turned about 40 shades of red, and left the Green and Gold Room. Everyone else was in tears of laughter. Coach Bartow reprimanded Kramer, but after the press conference, even coach was laughing about it hysterically. Ogg, however, never found it funny.
GN, that has to be one of the funniest stories I've ever heard. What a story!!!
I'll bet that one won't be spoken at his service.
11-02-2009 09:33 PM
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BlazerFromMD Away
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Post: #12
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
I have no doubt that's a true story coming from Kramer! 03-lmfao
11-02-2009 11:31 PM
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UABGrad Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
Wasn't it Alan that we always chanted for to shoot a 3 pointer when a game was in the bag? Seems like I remember him finally shooting one his senior year and may have missed it, but the crowd went nuts.
11-03-2009 05:39 AM
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Post: #14
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
(11-03-2009 05:39 AM)UABGrad Wrote:  Wasn't it Alan that we always chanted for to shoot a 3 pointer when a game was in the bag? Seems like I remember him finally shooting one his senior year and may have missed it, but the crowd went nuts.

Yes, here is a blurb from a 1991 Miami article I found on Alan.

Quote:As mythical as Alan Ogg's rise through basketball has been, one facet of the game has resisted his legend - the three-point shot. The darling of sharpshooters, the three-pointer is a comedy prop in the hands of the game's tall men, as anyone will attest if they ever got to see Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shoot long-distance. In his college days, Ogg risked only a single long-range missile. "It was against UNC-Charlotte, and we were up by 30 and running out the clock," recalls Grant Shingleton, UAB's director of sports information. "Right before coach was about to take all the starters out, Alan was standing there outside the three-point line, holding the ball. And people were shouting, `Shoot it!' He bricked it terribly."
"I missed the whole goal," Ogg says sheepishly, "but you would have thought I made it they way they screamed."
11-03-2009 08:04 AM
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Post: #15
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
I found this post from the forum on MiamiHeat.com. I don't think it's been posted on here yet:

Alan Ogg had a special place with Miami Heat in the early 1990s

By BRIAN BIGGANE
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 02, 2009

Before the Heat had Dwyane Wade, before it had Alonzo Mourning, even before it had Pat Riley, the Heat had Alan Ogg.

Ogg, a 7-foot-2 center out of Alabama-Birmingham, was a gentle giant who joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 1990 and played two seasons as back-up center in Miami.

Ogg, 42, died Sunday of complications from a staph infection in Birmingham, where he grew up.

Heat fans took to Ogg instantly upon his arrival. Whether it was his distinctive name, his long-legged gait or his underdog status - he admittedly did not have a great deal of finesse on the court - many fans stayed until the end of a blowout hoping to see Ogg play a few precious minutes. And as a young expansion team, the Heat suffered plenty of routs.

Paradoxically, fans seemed to find a sense of the everyman in Ogg. They could imagine themselves - if they were that height - doing the things he did despite not being extraordinarily athletic: blocking shots, setting screens and grabbing a few rebounds in brief moments on the court.

Ogg acted like the everyman, too. He had no ego and loved schmoozing with spectators during timeouts and at off-court functions.

Ogg was a pretty good player at UAB, averaging 6.4 points and 4.4 rebounds and setting a school record for career blocks (266) that still stands.

In three NBA seasons, the third of which was split between Milwaukee and Washington, his numbers were a more modest 2.2 points and 1.7 rebounds.
11-03-2009 01:54 PM
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Post: #16
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
I am not a big NBA fan and don't particularly follow any team, but I find myself becoming a fan of the Heat because of their reaction to Ogg's death.
11-03-2009 07:28 PM
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Post: #17
RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
(11-03-2009 07:28 PM)Memphis Blazer Wrote:  I am not a big NBA fan and don't particularly follow any team, but I find myself becoming a fan of the Heat because of their reaction to Ogg's death.

I hear you. It's nice to know another group of fans appreciated Alan.
11-04-2009 08:10 PM
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RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
I played against him in high school.
He blocked my shot at least twice, and we laughed when he had to duck under the locker room door to come out onto the court.
He was nothing but class.
11-05-2009 08:33 AM
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RE: Memories of Alan Ogg (July 5, 1967 - November 1, 2009)
The sad part of his stint with the Washington Bullets is that he never really got to play. Wes Unseld was a hell of a player, but he could not coach worth sh!t.

Alan was with the Bullets on a 10-day contract due to injuries. The next tallest active player on the active roster was defensive specialist Charles Jones @ 6'9"

We went to see them play the LA Clippers only because of Alan. The Clippers at the time had two 7-footers in Felton Spencer and some other dude. But for Pete's sake, they were the FRACKIN CLIPPERS!

Anyway, in the 4th quarter the Clippers were ahead by over 20 points, still playing both 7-footers. Despite a chant of "Ogg..." from the puny Bullets' home crowd, Unseld never put him in the game, so I never got to see Alan play as a pro. Unseld was such a prick.
11-05-2009 11:57 AM
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