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Mike Scandura’s Passion For Scoring Bonds Him And His Grandson Nick

"It makes me feel a part of the team."

Mike and Nick Scandura
(L-R) Nick and Mike Scandura

The offer was on the table to serve as the team’s official scorer. Nonetheless, Barrington boys basketball head coach Mike Raffa succinctly spelled out the family-related option that was also available to Mike Scandura.

If the inclination to sit in the stands and cheer on Scandura’s grandson Nick and his BHS teammates proved to be too enticing, then by all means, don’t worry about keeping track of points, fouls, and timeouts. The sun will still come up in the morning if you choose to derive pleasure from watching the action unfold as a spectator.

“I wanted him to make sure that there was no pressure. If you want to watch your grandson play and enjoy the moment and enjoy the journey, you can do that,” said Raffa.

For Mike Scandura, scoring games can be chalked up as his passion. The genesis of this particular practice originated in 1960 when young Mike attended his first game at Yankee Stadium with his parents. He purchased a game program and was hooked in no time flat … chronicling what was happening on the field.

“It’s just mushroomed from there,” said Scandura.

Nick Scandura
Nick Scandura (R) – Photo: Liam O’Neal

When he worked as a sports scribe at the Pawtucket Times, Scandura presided over baseball history. He was on-site at McCoy Stadium for the famous “Longest Game” that lasted 33 innings between the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings. He still has the scorebook from that epic affair which unfolded over parts of three days back in 1981 – a pitch-by-pitch, out-by-out account that has stood the test of time and served as a go-to resource whenever stories and documentaries shed light on the Longest Game.

Fast forwarding to modern times, now we find ourselves talking about family – the opportunity to be a grandfather not burdened by foul trouble or informing the officials that we’re still in the single bonus. To Mike Scandura, his desire to score for his grandson’s high school team boils down to a singular desire.

He loves doing it.

“In a sense, it makes me feel a part of the team, although I couldn’t make a layup even if no one was guarding me,” said Mike with a smile while standing next to Nick inside Barrington High’s Frank J. Murgo Gymnasium.

“Is it enjoyable? Obviously,” Scandura added. “It helps me keep my mind on the game. It’s just a matter of habit.”

Those habits include recording the number of turnovers and rebounds by Barrington and its opponent. Again, we’re talking about an individual who enjoys the nuances of monitoring the proceedings and putting them to paper courtesy of his No. 2 pencil.

Mke Scandura
Mike Scandura

“I learned a long time ago that it doesn’t matter if it’s basketball, baseball, or tiddlywinks. You don’t keep score with a pen,” said Mike Scandura, now in his second season as Barrington’s scorer, a stretch that coincides with his grandson’s time on the varsity basketball roster.

A junior who stands 6-foot-6, Nick Scandura looks the part of an aircraft carrier when he takes the court. From his rather tall vantage point, you’ll find a deep sense of appreciation for the act that his grandfather performs for Barrington’s home and away games.

“To do what you love which is something he’s done for years … now he’s keeping the book and doing the stats at my games, it’s a cool connection,” said Nick, noting that his teammates are aware that his grandfather is the keeper of the Barrington scorebook.

Some players don’t think twice about bugging their team’s official scorer after the final horn sounds to learn how many points they scored. At Barrington, Scandura will total everything in peace before turning the scorebook over to Coach Raffa.

“I can’t recall a single instance over the past two seasons where a Barrington basketball player has come up to me and asked about their point total. That tells me that it’s all about the team,” said Mike Scandura.

To Nick, he understands that his grandfather is performing a job, one where he’s volunteering his scoring expertise.

“For us, it’s about focusing on the moment. Our goal is to win the game. We don’t care about individual stats,” said the youngster who ranks second on this year’s Barrington squad in scoring, averaging just under 18 points per game.

Still, there’s no denying the “Family Ties” element in play here between the star center and his grandfather.

“It’s greatly appreciated. He’s taking one for the team. There is nobody else that I can think of who would want to do the book,” said Nick, “but I know he loves doing it.

Brendan McGair is a sportswriter and columnist with the Pawtucket Times and the Woonsocket Call. A graduate of Providence College, McGair is a five-time recipient of the R.I. Sports Writer of the Year Award as voted by the National Sports Media Association (NSMA).

Follow McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03 and on Instagram @bwmcgair.