Coach Labarda will be missed on the basketball court

I first met coach Carlito Labarda Jr. in February 2019 at my first Eastern Oregon University men’s basketball game. I had just moved here from Atlanta, Georgia, and was wearing a University of Georgia Bulldog shirt. I was sitting behind the bench and after the game I spoke with the coach and told him that was a great win. He said to come to his office the next day and he would get me a EOU shirt to wear instead of that Georgia shirt.

So the next day I met him at his office and we talked a few minutes about his coaching career. I asked him what is was like to coach against Bobby Knight of Indiana when he coached at Purdue under Gene Keady. He said it was always entertaining for him.

Whether I saw him at Denny’s after a game or shopping at Safeway, he always had time to say hello and ask how I was doing. He will be missed on the court, and I wish him the very best in his future.

Robert Beck

Island City

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