Marvin Barnes

With less than a week to go before we welcome 2015, it’s time to reflect upon the stories that informed, entertained and intrigued us most during 2014. These are the sports stories that grabbed my attention.

Providence College

Marvin Barnes, who rose from the gritty neighborhood of South Providence to the NCAA Final Four on the legendary 1973 Providence College basketball team and later had a promising career in professional basketball that  was cut short by drug addiction and scrapes with the law, has died. He was 62.

Barnes death was first reported by ProJo sports writer Kevin McNamara, who wrote that he got the news from Barnes old friend and teammate, Kevin Stacom. He died at his Providence home.

Since the 1950s, Providence College basketball has been one of the great story lines in all of college sports, a New England version of the cinematic Hoosiers.

This tale flat-lined for too many years. But make no mistake: the Friars are back to the future, playing a marquee game tonight at Madison Square Garden, where the PC hoop legend really began all those years ago, in the early 1960s, with the National Invitational Tournament, when that post-season playoff at the Garden overshadowed the NCAA’s tournament.