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About Phil Fabrizio

Phil Fabrizio is an event, news and sports photographer in the Washington D.C. Metro area. He lives in North Potomac and has operated Sugarloaf Photography since 1985. He is a member of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of the Glen Echo Partnership for Arts and... Read more

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In Memory of David “Griff” Griffin

Coach.

That’s what I called him whenever our paths crossed, which was usually on the hardwoods. Good friends, associates, former players probably know him best as just “Griff”.

Dave died on June 18th of this year not that long after his basketball prowess was proven and his last charges, those homegrown basketball students along with our I-270 corridor at Quince Orchard, provided him an immeasurable gift, a state title run for the ages. Dave was not able to travel to the University of Maryland’s Xfinity Center to witness the joy and tears. He listened in with updates from parents and friends and talked via FaceTime and by phone to the team before and after the state semi and final.

Quince Orchard’s basketball coach Paul Foringer has been blessed with many good friends who were coaches and now he has lost two who left an indelible mark – Jeff Simms and now Dave Griffin.

To understand some of that final QO BB state title run check out my MCM blog “The Relentless Coach Paul Foringer.” I won’t cover it here.

To understand the how and the why those boys got there will take much longer to explain but know that the way any of those boys played was a direct result of how they were taught and coached by men like Jeff, Paul and Dave from about 6th grade on to 12th grade.

It took me years to figure out which loud voice I would hear during home basketball games at QO when long ago I was covering for the Town Courier. I was focused in the viewfinder on the floor action but could hear the loud voice – mostly when QO was on defense. I eventually recognized it was Dave’s voice and not Paul’s that picked on those mental mistakes made by a QO varsity player – no one individual was immune to being singled out.

Coach Foringer has a team award named in honor of Jeff Simms and also a holiday tournament. Coach may stick around for another year to dedicate an award with Dave’s name on it. That, however, is his choice. But for the many boys and now men who were taught the love of the game by Dave – they already have a memory and their reward of knowing “Griff”.

The best that I can do is only finding an image of the last time I saw him, on the bench, sitting quietly next to Coach Foringer, it was February 16, 2017.

Dave “Griff” Griffin in QO Red Shirt, Tuscarora High School visitors bench, 2/16/17

Blogger Note:

A celebration of Griff’s life will be held at Union Jack’s in Gaithersburg on Saturday, July 8 from 1:30 to 5 p.m. To assist in planning, an Evite has been created for the event. Please contact Denise Feldman at dfeldman1005@yahoo.com to receive an invitation.

If you would like to read more about Griff, Syl Sobel’s article “Close Group of Cougars Confident on the Road to States” in The Town Courier and Jesse Dougherty’s article “The assistant coach who helped inspire Quince Orchard’s improbable run to the Maryland state title game” in The Washington Post may be of interest.

 

Phil Fabrizio

@PhotoLoaf®

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Phil Fabrizio

About Phil Fabrizio

Phil Fabrizio is an event, news and sports photographer in the Washington D.C. Metro area. He lives in North Potomac and has operated Sugarloaf Photography since 1985. He is a member of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of the Glen Echo Partnership for Arts and Culture, Inc in Glen Echo. Stop by Phil's PhotoLoaf site or visit his SugarLoaf Photography facebook page or follow him on Twitter @Photoloaf. Find Phil's blog on MyMCMedia here.

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