Checking in With Legendary St. John's Coach Lou Carnesecca During Pandemic

NBC Universal, Inc.

This is the story of the power of a wave and about checking on your elders.

I have known Lou Carnesecca for 40 years and speak to him on the phone often. But during this Coronavirus pandemic, I thought it would be more important to visit Lou personally. 

So with my wife by my side, I headed to his home in Queens and took the Hall of Fame coach, who has remained healthy and in good spirits, down memory lane. I shared pictures from yesteryear and reaped joy along the way. We kept our social distancing with the help of a GoPro. 

Carnesecca was born in 1925 and served in WWII, and helped put the coronvirus epidemic into perspective.

"It's hit everybody. You know, World War II we were young, we all went .... but this, this has floored everybody," Carnesecca said. "And we have to be grateful, that we're here."

Some former players — Mark Jackson, Jayson Williams, Bill Wennington, Frank Alagia, and Chris Mullins — made messages of love for their coach.

Lou, who coached St. John’s basketball for 24 years and won 526 games, is sharp as a tack at age 95. When I left his house, I was smiling for the first time in a week. That’s because Lou is a Hall of Fame person as well. 

I hope I did something for Lou’s spirits. I know he did a lot for mine! 

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