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D’Youville hoops coach makes it to school, with a little help from his friends

The D’Youville Spartans men’s basketball team has gotten off to a slow start this year, losing its first two games by a combined 95 points.

Imagine how much worse it would have been playing without a coach.

Luckily, that won’t happen, partly because coach Earl Schunk was easily recognized Thursday afternoon by a friendly passing motorist/photographer.

Schunk was standing on Harlem Road in South Cheektowaga Thursday when Buffalo News photographer John Hickey spotted him and called his name. Schunk likewise recognized Hickey and said he would be happy to take a ride where he was going: the Walmart on Harlem and Walden Avenue.

“I couldn’t get a ride from my house as we still have 5 feet of snow in the street,” he said later. “It would’ve been about 2.5 miles to Walmart, but I was sick of sitting in my house and shoveling out the same 3 foot area so I could open my back door and knock snow off my Directv satellite dish.”

Waiting for him at Walmart was Ronnie Ashton, who played for Schunk at Grover Cleveland when he coached there. Ashton offered to pick him up to take him to the D’Youville campus near the Peace Bridge to prepare for a trip to Rochester for a game Saturday.

The plan worked. Schunk made it to school, is staying at the home of another former player, Raysean Johnson, and should be able to make it to Rochester for the game Saturday.

All this story needs now is a happy ending. So Go D’Youville!

– Bruce Andriatch