Boom-shaka-laka! Mike Iuzzolino joins the Forgotten Maverick Podcast
NBA fans that grew up in the 1990s have a soft spot in their hearts for “NBA Jam.” The original arcade version of the game was released 25 years ago this month, providing NBA and video game fans with a whole new take on 2 on 2 basketball.
With each team featuring two players, the Dallas Mavericks were represented by longtime guard and one of the faces of the franchise, Derek Harper. Who was the other player for the Mavs? That would be Mike Iuzzolino.
Mike joined The Forgotten Maverick Podcast to talk about his start in basketball, his college experience at both Penn State & St. Francis, and his professional career including his 2 seasons for the Mavericks. Of course, I also had to ask him about how he ended up in one of the most iconic video games of all time.
“I have no idea. To be honest with you, no one ever told me that I was in NBA Jam. One day I was at a birthday party, I think at a Chuck-E-Cheese, and there was an “NBA Jam” and we turned it on, and I was on it.”
In regards to his time with the Mavericks, Mike has nothing but good memories of the team and of the city of Dallas, even if it came during a period in which the team was struggling.
“I love the city of Dallas….the people were so fantastic to us. The organization, with Donald Carter, he ran a great organization.
When asked about his experience playing with some legendary Mavericks of the 1980s, Mike acknowledged how blessed he was to call guys like Rolando Blackman, Derek Harper, James Donaldson, and Brad Davis his teammates.
“You know, it was really great. I was very fortunate to have those guys because they were such professionals. Fat Lever, Harper, Brad Davis. They all took me under the wing, and helped me become a professional because it’s not just about playing. It’s about how you treat your body, how you take care of your body, how you conduct yourself in public, how you conduct yourself with the media. All those guys had been 10-12 year vets, so it was really beneficial for me in all those aspects.”
Today, Mike is an assistant men’s basketball coach at Robert Morris University.
Thank you for listening, I hope you enjoy the episode. #MFFL
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