Jan. 31, 2007
By Scott MacDonald –
After graduation, most friends lose touch because they go off in different directions for job opportunities or graduate school. It is even tougher to stay in touch with college teammates, especially when they go off to the professional ranks and travel all over the United States. For Brian Domalik, that was never an option.
“It’s so important to me to stay close to my teammates,” said Domalik.
Domalik was a walk-on for the Tech men’s basketball team and lettered from 1989-91. He saw limited action over the course of his career, until close friend Dennis Scott left early for the National Basketball Association (NBA).
“Coach [Bobby] Cremins could not get somebody fast enough to replace Dennis,” said Domalik. “Kenny [Anderson] had gone to coach Cremins and said, `You really need to play Brian, give him a shot at playing point guard and let me play two guard.’ Kenny was averaging like 22 points per game and coach Cremins experimented with me at point guard in some of the smaller games.”
Domalik averaged close to 15 minutes per game after that and went on to making the biggest shot of his career against a favored Georgia team on Dec. 19, 1990, at The Omni.
“Bryan Hill fouled out and I had to go into the game late in the second half,” said Domalik. “I remember coach Cremins coming down to me and as a vote of confidence started shaking me and said, `please do not screw this up.’ I go into the game and I’m handling the ball and playing pretty well.”
With the UGA leading by three, the Yellow Jackets had the ball late in the first overtime and coach Cremins called a timeout.
“Coach Cremins draws up a play where I get the ball and Kenny comes off two screens on the other side of the floor for a three-pointer,” Domalik recalls. “For some reason when the ball came in bounds, I never looked for Kenny. I had this signature cross over move that I used to do in practice, and I did it and the defender was way off me and I shot it. Come to find out, it was like a NBA three-pointer, and it went in. After Georgia missed its final shot, we came over to the sidelines and coach Cremins was like, `what in the hell were you doing?'”
Tech went on to win that game, 112-105. When asked about his biggest moment at Georgia Tech, Domalik does not mention that play, but the team’s accomplishments when he was a letterwinner for the Jackets.
“The Final Four team (1990) was such a memorable experience,” said Domalik. “That team was so close, and remains close today. The chemistry on that team really made the team. Of course there were great players; Kenny Anderson, Brian Oliver and Dennis Scott were really the backbone of that team, but everybody else played such a role on that team.”
TEAM is all that Domalik believed in and still does to this day. Last summer he called Dennis, who he remains close friends with, and told him that he wanted to do something that allowed his former teammates to get together once or twice a month. A social gathering of some sort to keep the friendships intact. So, Brian and six others came up with the Alumni Sports Group, LLC.
“I got with Dennis, Marvin Lewis, Brian Oliver, Duane Ferrell and Willie Reese, and some of the guys, to see if we can form some sort of networking group, and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve basically formed a basketball networking group for all Coach Cremins’ era players. Our first venture with the Alumni Sports Group was to acquire a box for the Georgia Tech basketball games. So we went out and raised money, and 10 former basketball players put in on this suite and we got it. We go to every game and have a ball.”
Also on the horizon for the Alumni Sports Group are three or four summer basketball camps, called Alumni Sports Academy. Domalik hopes that one day that grows into a basketball academy.
“I really like what I am doing right now at Rite Way Services as a regional sales executive,” said Domalik. “But my goal for the future is to be in business with those guys that I mentioned and build those basketball camps.”
Basketball has always been part of Brian’s life. After graduating from Tech in 1991 with a degree in management, he went to work in the restaurant industry with Hospitality ICON Bob Amick. Amick started the Mick’s restaurants here in Atlanta, and Domalik went to work for him for a couple of years as a kitchen manager.
“I always had a passion for it,” said Domalik. “I started helping Bob out with his son and before we knew it, we were coaching AAU. I had some great teams and did that from 1994-2001.”
Over that span, Domalik coached some of the most talented basketball players in the state of Georgia. Some of the players he had were Damien Wilkins [Seattle SuperSonics], Kwame Brown [Los Angeles Lakers], Josh Powell [Indiana Pacers] and Fred Gibson [Miami Dolphins]. His success in coaching never really led him down that career path.
“Not really,” said Domalik about the prospect of being a full-time coach. “When I finished playing at Georgia Tech, I remember going to coach Cremins and asking if I could be the graduate assistant and he was like, `Are you crazy? Why would you want to be in this business? This is a crazy business. You’re going to be president of a company one day.'”
Now, Domalik enjoys getting with his former teammates in the suite atop Alexander Memorial Coliseum and rooting on the Yellow Jackets. If you hear a ruckus in the AMC, it is probably the suite in which Domalik and others have created for Tech letterwinners who bleed Old Gold and White, keeping it all together.