Niagara Gazette

Sports

November 23, 2012

Purple Eagle family mourns with Mihalich

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — "It makes you feel good that they understand family," he said. "My mother made sure my priorities were in order: God, family, school and basketball. I know Niagara University teaches family and it's awesome to know that I've been able to teach them about family."

"He preaches about family first. It goes a lot deeper than just playing for a basketball program, or a championship team," said 2009 graduate and third all-time leading scorer Tyrone Lewis. "When my grandmother passed away two years ago, Coach Mihalich was one of the first people to reach out to me and my mother."

Lewis, who is now an assistant coach at Division III Widner (Pa.) Univesity said he could always spot the Mihalich matriarch in the crowd, and it affected his play.

"She always had that big purple jacket and the purple hat on," Lewis said. "Whenever she showed up for a game, if she was there, it was a game we wanted to win and I believe we won most of the games she was there."

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