Deepak Chatani a congenial guy with the soul of an artist

July 16, 2013
"Absolut Fantasy"  by Deepak Chatani. BY DAVE FREDERICK

Big Brother - “Me and baby brother used to run together.” - War.   The Kelly Fritchman 5K July 13 at Irish Eyes in Lewes attracted 277 runners, many of them friends of Kelly and Todd Fritchman. Todd said he couldn’t get around to see everyone and neither could I, so I just let them find me. Legendary Cape athletes Tony Zigman 1983 and Jeff Lawton 1984 were there. Lawton, one of the best running backs ever at Cape, helped the team under Rob Schroeder make a state finals appearance in 1984, and Zigman, a multiple-sport athlete excelling at football, basketball, baseball and track, also played in a football final in 1982 and later played linebacker at the University of Kentucky. These guys are still kids to me. They’re pushing strollers while I’m just pushing my lucky life another day.

Absolute Vonnegut - Deepak Chatani, 37, was a Cape kid all the way back through elementary school, graduating in 1993. He later graduated from James Madison University. Deepak died suddenly as a result of a pedestrian-auto accident on Route 1 July 11.  I remember his congenial nature and artistic talents when he was a high school kid and how he loved to paint Absolut Vodka ads he found in magazines. I was wowed by his work; after he graduated, he gifted me a painting that I had framed and still have hanging on the wall in my house. I have always seen artists as the flip side of the athlete, just more spiritual with better perspective. Kurt Vonnegut wrote, “The practice of art isn't to make a living. It's to make your soul grow.” The June 8, 1993 Cape Henlopen High School commencement program class motto was written by Deepak Chatani: “Our eyes behold the vision of the future.” The soul of the artist and the art live on forever in the eyes of those who remember them. Services for Deepak will be held at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 16, at Parsell Funeral Home on Kings Highway.

Cape Crusaders - Playing in the Myrtle Beach Big Shots Tournament July 12 and 13, the U 17 basketball team was paced by Tyreik Burton, who averaged 20 points over 15 games while picking up 29 assists, and Jon Jon Warren, who averaged 13 points a game while pulling down a total of 73 rebounds. Both Tyreik and Jon are entering their senior year and are what I call Mr. P athletes, that’s the crossroads where potential meets performance. All athletic upside for both these guys. Now it's time to dial in consistency and dominate ballgames.

Come get some - Salesianum basketball returns 6-foot-3, high-flying, shot-blocking, fast-break-dunking, jump-shooting, assist-dealing, redheaded point guard Donté DiVincenzo, who will be just a junior. Cape, the defending Henlopen Conference champion, was eliminated in the state tournament last March at Sallies. You want to play Sallies, but not there, and not on a Saturday afternoon. Trust me, Catholics own basketball games played in the daytime in old gyms. The Cape student fan base must prepare to counter the big fat white underbelly, the Sallies Glee Club or whatever they call it, perhaps bring back the Dog Pound from the Illya Waples and Claude McCrea days, and Baseline Bums, the brain child of the late Jerry Adkins.

Snippets - Got in a friendly discussion with a Field Hockey Dad who said to me, “No offense, but soccer and lacrosse are easy sports to pick up compared to the skills needed for field hockey."  No offense? Why would I be offended by that point of view - which I don’t agree with. But the good thing about me is so many people on the sports scene have less regard for my insight than they do for their own.

Chris Davis, the Baltimore Orioles slugger, had 37 home runs and 93 RBIs at the all-star break. The guy looks normal enough, but if it quacks like a duck … I am suspicious but no real evidence; there is just little in his major league history to project Davis being a 70 home run guy. Three of the world's fastest people - Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, who has a gold and two silver medals on her resume - just failed a drug test, and they are banned from competition. Stimulants are banned just like steroids. Look at Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz with his artificial stimulation rotund self who can’t jack the ball anymore. Go on now, git!

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