Arizona Basketball

Ooh Aah Man down to his last month before losing home unless he receives financial assistance


The Ooh Aah Man — Joseph Cavaleri — informed me today that he will lose his house unless he gets help as fast as possible.

“It really sucks I am going to lose the house I spent the last 26 years of my life in,” he told me. “I need $3,500 by (this month) or I am gone. It is a shame because if I collected a dollar from everyone who has ever cheered with me I could pay off my house and my car right now.”

Joe Cavaleri, aka The Ooh Aah Man, is in jeopardy of losing his Tucson home

Cavaleri, 60, has fallen behind on six month’s worth of mortgage payments. He is unemployed and living on disability social security. He has been on disability since suffering a broken back in an automobile accident 12 years ago.

Cavaleri, who energized crowds at Sancet Field, McKale Center and Arizona Stadium since 1979, was informed by Arizona last season that he could no longer lead cheers. He can barely walk after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in early 2010. He also has four children — Michael (19), Angelina (18), Nick (15) and Olivia (13). He has been divorced for five years and the kids live with him.

You can reach Cavaleri at mannjo2004@comcast.net. His address is 6995 N. Asterion Lane, Tucson, AZ, 85741.

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Atlanta has released its NBA Summer League roster and former Arizona guard Brendon Lavender is not listed. That does not mean Lavender will not play in the event, which starts Friday and runs through July 22 in Las Vegas. In the past, players have been summoned in case of injuries or no-shows by players on the roster.

As of now, Kyle Fogg is the lone former Arizona player slated to compete. He is on the Houston Rockets’ roster. Minnesota has yet to release its roster. Derrick Williams will likely be added to it — if he is not traded — since he has only completed one year in the NBA.

Most players with one year of experience participate, such as this year with Klay Thompson of Golden State, Jimmer Fredette of Sacramento and Nikola Vucevic of Philadelphia.

Former Santa Rita High School guard Terrell Stoglin, the leading scorer in the ACC last year with Maryland, is also expected to play in the summer league for Toronto but the Raptors’ roster has not been officially announced.

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Texas Tech was the last non-conference team added to Arizona’s 2012-13 schedule which is good news only if you like regional matchups. The Red Raiders went a dismal 1-17 in the Big 12 last year under first-year coach Billy Gillespie, the former Kentucky coach. Texas Tech figures to improve under Gillespie, who took over for unsuccessful Pat Knight, from its meager No. 241 ranking in the RPI last year.

It appears that Arizona coach Sean Miller and the Wildcat athletic department are doing their best to maintain a good balance of regional non-conference games.

Matchups recently include San Diego State and New Mexico State. The Wildcats play UTEP in a home-and-home series starting this season. They are slated to start a four-game home-and-home series with UNLV next season.

Former Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski belts one of his 17 home runs in the Triple-A Celebrity Home Run Derby at Buffalo, N.Y. (Twitter/Matt Harvey)

I hope they bring back the series with New Mexico. I have been to The Pit once and it was an experience to remember during Arizona’s 1996-97 championship season. Lute Olson became so angered by the refs that he removed his sports jacket in the first half in the 84-77 loss to the Lobos.

Arizona lost again at New Mexico in 1998-99 and the Lobos upset the Wildcats at McKale Center a year later. The teams have not played each other since.

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And did anybody catch former UA tight end Rob Gronkowski in the Triple-A celebrity Home Run Derby in his hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., on Monday?

The Patriots tight end, wearing a special No. 87 All-Star jersey, emerged victorious slamming 17 home runs over two rounds at the derby. He hit five home runs in the first round — all clearing a shorter temporary fence at the Buffalo Bisons’ Coca-Cola Field — and finished with 12 in his second at-bat.

The total not only helped Gronk win, but he also finished with 10 more home runs than second-place finisher Russ Brandon, CEO of the Buffalo Bills.

One of Gronkowski’s home runs cleared the 325-foot fence in the Bisons’ outfield.

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