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Danville center leads St. Mary's to NCAA win

Original post made on Mar 20, 2010

St. Mary's College center, No. 50 Omar Samhan, controls the opening tip-off in the NCAA Tournament in Providence, RI. The St. Mary's Gaels beat the Richmond Spiders, 80 to 71. Samhan, who is from Danville and graduated from San Ramon Valley High, led all scorers with 29 points. He also had 12 rebounds and one blocked shot, clearly the dominant player in the game. Photo by Mark Curtis.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 18, 2010, 10:09 PM

Comments (11)

Posted by Omar Fan
a resident of Danville
on Mar 20, 2010 at 8:20 am

Omar Samhan was once told by his Monte Vista High School basketball coach that he would never be a basketball player. He thus promptly transferred his services to SRVHS where he was provided playing time and a role on the team.

Omar did not quit, he challenged the MVHS coach's adversity, salvaged his high school reputation, developed a college career at St. Mary's, and now has a chance for an NBA opportunity, after graduation.

Many of these same people are now saying he is no more than NBA D-League player, they may be right, but he sure in the hell proved a lot of people wrong along the way.

Posted by Another Omar fan
a resident of Danville
on Mar 20, 2010 at 8:29 am

Omar is more than the leading scorer and leading rebounder and shot blocker in the West Coast Conference: He also has the biggest heart, and is a great, unselfish teammate...Listen up Golden State Warriors, we are tired of watching your prima donna, selfish players lose again and again...If you want a good team player, who will help sell seats as well, draft Omar in the first round, and get rid of Biedrins who shot less than 20% from the free throw line this year.

Posted by EatYourHat
a resident of Danville
on Mar 20, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Omar scores 32 points against second seed Villanova during the second round of the 2010 NCAA basketball tournament, as the Gaels stun the second seed Villanova Wildcats.

This young man does indeed have heart, a very big heart.

Coach Bill Powers must be choking on his own words, while eating crow, humble pie, and his hat.

Posted by daman
a resident of Danville
on Mar 20, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Omar is the man!

Posted by ProgramChanger
a resident of Danville
on Mar 22, 2010 at 6:42 am

From project player to program changer. Defensive player of the year in the WCC, and second in voting as player of the year behind Matt Bouldin of Gonzaga.

I had always wondered why Omar Samhan had attended Los Cerros Middle School, but then decided to attend SRVHS.


Posted by Bill Powers
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Mar 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Way to go Omar. During both Omar's high school career and college career he and I have stayed in contact. Omar has done what every athlete should attempt to do and that is to get incrementally better. This is not an easy thing to accomplish. The sky is the limit for Omar.

It is very unfortunate that I would be used as some type of motivating factor in this process. The last conversation Omar and I had regarding his basketball at Monte Vista was positive and he actually referenced that conversation recently with my assistant at the time, Chris Babcock who was also involved in the conversation. The words that we used with him were motivating, but not how "someone" would like to portray them.

I never said that Omar "would not be a basketball player."

It does seem like the norm on these blogs is to say whatever in anonymity...I am not sure if it is more dangerous or disappointing.

Bill Powers
Monte Vista Boys Basketball Coach

Posted by Motivation
a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Whatever the words that were communicated by the coach, they motivated Omar such that he left Monte Vista High School and transfered to cross-town rival SRVHS, thus enabling himself to reach greater heights.

All credit and thanks goes to coach Bill Powers.

Posted by Bill Powers
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Mar 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm

The credit for Omar's success belongs to Omar, his family, John Raynor and the staff and teammates at SRVHS and Randy Bennett and St. Mary's staff and his teammates.

I understand involvement stemmed from someone making a statement without truth.

Bill Powers
Monte Vista Basketball Coach

Posted by Boilermaker
a resident of Danville
on Mar 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Why is it that there can never be a positive, straight forward blog, that is factually correct about a local person achieving success, before people feel the need to turn it into a negative, false, personal attack on someone else? Omar is an out going, gregarious, frequently quoted individual, and I have never seen one quote from him about the alleged negative circumstances at MVH. The problem is that many people mistakenly believe whatever they read on a blog is true and correct. The only story should be positive, about Omar's hard work and dedication in achieving his dreams. The false, negative accusations serve no purpose other than detracting from the real story: A local athlete achieves success and makes the entire town proud of him.

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 25, 2010 at 8:40 am

jrm is a registered user.

Thanks Boilermaker, I agree with you. I wanted to add a word of thanks to Bill Powers, a couple of years ago my daughter was a senior at Monte Vista and the school administration coordinated an "Every 15 Minutes" program to sensitize the kids to the random dangers of drinking and driving. The program involves many facet culminating in a mock funeral for a student killed in a drunk driving incident. Bill Powers led this mock funeral and I can tell you there was not a dry eye in the packed gym. He did a masterful job moderating this extremely moving event and I was really impressed and grateful for his time and effort making this so effective for the students. I am not a basketball fan in the least and I did not know who he was. Bottom line, he is a reall asset and committed teacher who contributes at many levels to our students development. I'm glad I have a chance to belatedly thank him for his involvement in helping to keep our kids safe.

Posted by Go-Omar
a resident of Danville
on Mar 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Omar will need another career game and the entire Gael team will need to be at their best against Baylor in the South Regional semi-finals on Friday. Ekpe Udoh Baylor's F-C is not exactly a push over, he shoots 50% from the floor, and nearly 30% from the arc as a big man (and also plays nearly the entire game on average which Omar cannot do).

The Gaels certainly have their work cut out for them, but I do wish them the best against Baylor.

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