Every year when July 26th roles around social media is filled with tributes to George Edward “Skip” Prosser, the former Xavier and Wake Forest basketball coach who passed away after suffering a heart attack after jogging around the track on campus on July 26, 2007.
Today marks another day when Skip is remembered, through the Skip Prosser Classic played between the two schools every two years in his memory.
Sharing the court for the first time since the 2016-17 season, @WakeMBB will renew its series with Xavier as part of the Skip Prosser Classic. The legendary coach won a combined 274 games as head coach at both schools. #GoDeacs pic.twitter.com/Q7Gctpv7gx— Wake Forest Sports (@DemonDeacons) December 12, 2019
In a tribute that only makes sense, with Wake Forest’s permission, Xavier has expanded the series to include their next game on December 18th against Western Carolina. Skip’s son Mark is the coach of the Catamounts.
While some have argued that it makes no sense to play this game from a basketball standpoint, this game and series is about so much more than basketball. It’s about a man who never met a stranger and had a positive impact on the life of every single person he encountered. Wake Forest has never fully recovered from losing Skip, and maybe never will.
As former player Bobby Hoekstra said on twitter “there’s a Prosserism for every situation.” Perhaps the most quoted is “never delay gratitude,” a quote which the world would be a much better place if everyone lived by.
“Never delay gratitude” always seems to be the most relevant. My other favorites are comparing our defense to the Russians at Stalingrad, playing time isn’t like Halloween candy, and in practice when he would say “don’t worry about us being good”— B-Ho (@bho52) December 11, 2019
Regardless of your opinions of the current state of the basketball program, I encourage you to come out this afternoon and remember a great man who had an impact on so many at both Xavier and Wake Forest.
If you want to read more about Skip Prosser, I encourage you to read these articles from previous years:
- July 26, 2019
- July 26, 2017
- July 26, 2014
- Les Johns’ feature on Wake Forest Basketball and what it means to fans
Skip, in your own words I truly believe that one day “we’re going to be good again” and I look forward to the time when we can again say confidently before a big game against Duke or Carolina “meet me on the quad at midnight.” Rest in peace, Coach. You are still greatly missed.