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Former Big 10 College Basketball Official Relives Life on the Court

By Mike Holzheimer

Have you ever wondered what it would be like officiating college basketball games?

Well, now you can.

Phil Bova, who many in Northeast Ohio know as a longtime educator, sports enthusiast and instructor having conducted a youth summer baseball camp for an incredible 45 years, collaborated on a literary project with author Nino Frostino.

In the recently released book “Throwing Back the Chair,” Bova recalls his days as a Big 10 Conference and NCAA college basketball official. The book is filled with terrific stories including the famous Bobby Knight chair toss that Bova witnessed up close and personal as he was working that game between Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers and Purdue.

A career that spanned over three decades, Bova has so many more memories he shares with the readers. The book has met with some great reviews and testimonials delivered by such notable college basketball coaches as Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and former Purde coach Gene Keady.

Legendary ESPN commentator Dick Vitale, who has seen a few collegiate contests in his day, would certainly grade Bova’s book with, as only Vitale can say it, “A CAPITAL A-AWESOME, BABY!”

I will be sitting down with Bova soon for an exclusive interview that I will transform into a feature story for Northeast Ohio Sports Insiders.

Be sure to look for it. I’ll share just a few of Bova’s great stories, as well as look back on his great run as a baseball camp director where he coached and touched the lives of thousands of kids who came to him to learn the game of baseball.

Of course, we won’t be revealing too much as you’ll want to purchase the book. It is available through Amazon and will soon be in bookstores.

“Throwing Back the Chair” is a terrific read.

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