Weekend Plans With Jerry Colangelo: Harvesting Grapes At The Family Vineyard
USA Basketball Chair JERRY COLANGELO has had a remarkably successful career, with notable influences in the NBA, NHL, MLB and real estate. Not to mention he has authored two books, has his name on the Colangelo School of Sports Business at Grand Canyon Univ. and is a Basketball HOFer. But as a father of four and grandfather to 13, there is nothing Colangelo takes more pride in than his family.
BABYSITTER'S CLUB: This particular weekend my wife JOAN and I are actually babysitting a grandson in Carmel, California. ... He’s a sophomore in high school, he’s a great student, great kid. He’s playing basketball, and so being here to get him to and from school and watch his practices, that’s a special treat for me. This past weekend when I arrived I played golf with my grandson and I try to do things with him, give him some experiences, so we spend a lot of time together. And quite honestly most of my weekends, the free time is spent with family members. I look at it as a full-time -- not job -- but full-time pleasure to spend as much time with them as I can. (Friday night) I think what’s on the agenda is a family dinner and a movie.
MAKE YOUR OWN WINE: I have a little farm in Carmel and on Saturday we have a grape harvest. It’s our first crop of grapes that we’ve grown, so I’m going to watch the harvest on Saturday morning. I love the look of the vineyard, that’s a big treat for me. It takes three years for the grapes to mature so that they can be harvested and go in to production to make the wine. This is the first year. We’re going to have Sauvignon Blanc white wine. Because of where we’re located in Carmel Valley, right where the marine layer stops, we’re not far enough into the valley to have red wine. So it’s going to be a white wine and it’s our first crop so we’re excited about that. The grapes taste sweet so I’m anxious to see how the wine turns out. It’s not for sale or public consumption. It’s for the family.
DOWN IN THE VALLEY: Right after the grape harvest on Saturday afternoon I’m going to jump on a plane back to Phoenix and go straight to Grand Canyon University and see the second half of the Grand Canyon home basketball game. DAN MAJERLE, one of my former players is the head coach there. I actually assist the president of the university and am pretty involved in the basketball program. This is the first year in Division I and a lot of recruiting is going on for the future. The expectations this year are building and growing and recruiting, that’s where the focus is. Going to Division I has brought a great deal of enthusiasm so it will be fun to help build the program.
MUSICAL CHAIRS: Over the years that I was owner of the Suns, you could sit most anywhere you want. I used to sit eight rows up behind our bench because I thought that was a great view of what was happening. I wanted to see the game from that perspective and be with the fans rather than sitting on the floor like some people like to. At Grand Canyon, I sit a little bit to the right of our home bench, a couple or three rows up and it’s a good perspective for me. After the game I’m going to be meeting with one of the recruits, a young man from Australia who’s going to be here this weekend that we’re very interested in. I do help in the recruiting area.
KEEP THE FAITH: Sunday is Church, brunch and family. In Phoenix, two of our four kids live there with six of our grandkids right there in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Our family members go to a couple of churches but we always meet for brunch afterwards. Usually out, sometimes at home. We mix it up pretty good. Sunday is usually a leisurely day unless there’s a game that night. Once or twice a month my wife and I go to a bible study with some couples, friends of ours. That’s something to important to us, our faith.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Early Monday morning I fly to Colorado Springs for a USA Basketball board meeting for two days and then I stay there for two more days of board meetings with an organization called Young Life that I serve on the board of. They happen to be headquartered in Colorado Springs also. With all the travel I’ve picked up a little thing over the last year just to keep my mind totally occupied. Some people use crossword puzzles -- I do a little bit of that -- but I like the Sudoku. I like the numbers. It’s challenging but I enjoy that. I also read novels a lot. “KILLING KENNEDY,” and “KILLING JESUS” are two bestsellers right now among the most recent I’ve read.