SURVEYING the New Hampshire sports landscape:
•Tunji Awojobi’s friends and former teammates have started a GoFundMe page for the former Trinity High School athlete who is currently dealing with financial stress brought on by his medical condition.
Awojobi, who resides in the Atlanta area, underwent heart bypass surgery earlier this month and is in need of a kidney transplant. Because of his medical condition and the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been unable to work for the past two years.
Anyone willing to donate to help cover medical and living expenses can do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-tunji-awojobi
“Tunji” became a household name among New Hampshire sports fans during the 1992-93 NHIAA basketball season, when he led the Pioneers to 15 victories and was named the New Hampshire Player of the Year. Trinity’s season ended with a loss to Manchester West in the Class L quarterfinals. West went on to win the Class L championship that season.
Awojobi, who came to the United States from Nigeria, was also an all-state performer in track and field (high jump, 100 meters and 200 meters) while at Trinity. After his senior season he was selected as the MVP of the Alhambra Game, an all-star basketball game between New Hampshire and Vermont.
Awojobi, a 6-foot-7 forward, played college basketball at Boston University from 1993 to 1997, where he became the first player from a New England school to record more than 2,000 points and more than 1,000 rebounds during his career.
When his college career was complete, he was one of five Division I players to have at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 blocked shots, joining Alonzo Mourning (Georgetown), Pervis Ellison (Louisville), Derrick Coleman (Syracuse) and David Robinson (Navy).
He was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat while at BU.
• Earlier this month we reported that Manchester Central and Manchester Memorial were each looking for a varsity baseball coach. At last check, each school was in need of a varsity softball coach as well, since Central’s Emily Sedita and Memorial’s Rachel Hedge Dahmke have both resigned. Dahmke joined the Southern New Hampshire University softball program as an assistant coach.
• The UNH football team is scheduled to kick off its spring season a week from Friday with a home game against Albany. UNH has not made an announcement regarding whether fans will be allowed to attend home games.
• Ryan Avery resigned last Friday after spending the last four years as Monadnock Regional High School’s varsity football coach. He said he made the decision so he could spend more time with his family, which includes six children.
Avery, 44, led Monadnock to the Division III championship in 2018. The Huskies finished as the Division III runner-up in 2017.
• The local college baseball season is scheduled to begin Sunday, when New England College will face Anna Maria at the New England Baseball Complex in Northborough, Mass.
• A reminder that the third-seeded UNH men’s basketball team will face either sixth-seeded UMass Lowell or seventh-seeded Stony Brook in the America East semifinals Sunday. Lowell and Stony Brook will meet in the quarterfinals at UNH on Saturday (1 p.m.).
• The New Hampshire sports community lost a good one Monday when former Portsmouth High School football coach Bill Murphy passed away after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 73.
Murphy, who also coached track and field at Portsmouth, guided the Clippers to the Division III championship in 2011 and 2012, his final two years as the program’s head coach. He coached football at Portsmouth for 41 years after starting as the school’s freshman coach in 1972.
Murphy was a selfless man who refused to take an ounce of credit for any team success. He was a good coach, and a great person.