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Paynesville Press - April 19, 2006

PHS grad works NCAA tourney

By Michael Jacobson

Bob Weber, a 1991 PHS grad, recently worked as a statistician at the NCAA Division I basketball tournament's Washington, D.C., regional. After 11th-seeded George Mason won this regional, Weber appeared in the background of a picture in the Monday, April 3, edition of Sports Illustrated.

Weber, who has lived in New York City for eight years, working for a software company, has kept basketball stats for the St. John's University men's and women's basketball teams when they play home games on campus since 1998. (Both teams also play games at Madison Square Garden, which has its own stats crew.)

Someone he worked for at SJU moved to Georgetown University, which hosted the NCAA basketball regional this year, and asked Weber to help with the tournament. He kept the official box score on his laptop from the front row of the press section, tracking points, fouls, rebounds, and assists, etc. His stats were used by the television play-by-play crew, were broadcast over the Internet, were linked to approximately 50 media members, and were distributed to other media and coaches. His laptop was also connected to the main scoreboard in the arena.

The Washington, D.C., regional included Connecticut, George Mason, Washington, and Wichita St., with top-seeded Connecticut needing overtime to beat Washington and then falling in overtime to George Mason, which advanced to the Final Four as the 11th seed in the regional.

"I saw some great games," said Weber, who wrestled at PHS. "It was a lot of fun, and it got very loud, particularly during the George Mason/UConn game."

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