The 2010-11 version are the favorites to win the school’s fifth state title and serious challengers for an Overall crown next month.
When the topic of Central Private arises throughout many MAIS basketball venues the tone varies from skepticism to a tempered hostility. For those who have only heard accounts of the talent that has been assembled in Central a skeptic tone arises with doubts that they are truly as advertised. Others who have attended a Central Private game, or competed against the top ranked team in Class AA, sometimes exude an attitude towards them like a new neighbor that may have a nicer home and car.
Central Private head coach Ed Palubinskas is back for a third stint after previously coaching at the school in the 70’s and 90’s and he makes no apologies about his vision for reinvigorating the once dominant program. For those who have only had a brief encounter with Palubinskas it can be a bag of mixed emotions trying to size up the former LSU Tiger and two time Australian Olympic team member. Some see arrogance and others encounter a sometimes undetectable sense of humor but after talking with him for 30 minutes to an hour about basketball or life, one leaves with a deeper understanding of his background and his gift in the area of reaching kids and furthering their development on and off the court.
I was elated recently when I received an email response from one of my childhood heroes. I took a shot at emailing former LSU head basketball coach Dale Brown about Ed Palubinskas not expecting a response. The next day the reply was in my inbox.
“Darron, Eddie Palubinskas is highly intellectual, extremely competitive, confident, superb teacher, creative, hard working, honest, a winner, and effervescent to the point he can be easily misunderstood as a know it all. If I was going into combat or competition of any kind I would want him on my team. He is strong willed and when he gets knocked down you can rest assured he will be back on his feet because of his grit,” said Brown.
Palubinskas pours excitement when discussing this year’s Central Private squad but he is equally excited about next season and the opportunity to be even better.