Joe McGinniss's Sarah Palin biography just landed on our desk, and our eyes went immediately to the excerpt—mentioned last week by the National Enquirer but quoted only in part—that proved for all time that Glen Rice never went to his left. Here it is, in case you were curious:
After her graduation, Sarah returned to Alaska and worked on the sports desk of Anchorage television station KTUU. On weekends, she'd sometimes appear on camera, delivering sports reports during the 10:00 PM newscast.
Her attitude toward people of color was evolving. In Anchorage, she even dated black men. A friend says, "Sarah and her sisters had a fetish for black guys for a while."
Each year, over Thanksgiving weekend, the University of Alaska hosted a basketball tournament called the Great Alaska Shootout, featuring some of the country's best teams. In 1987, one of the top squads to visit Anchorage was the University of Michigan, led by six-foot-eight junior Glen Rice, number 41.
Rice would lead Michigan to the NCAA Championship in 1989, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated and setting a scoring record for the NCAA tournament that stands today. After graduating from Michigan as the school's all-time leading scorer, he starred in the NBA for fifteen years.
Whether in her professional capacity as a sports reporter or simply as a basketball groupie who'd begun to find black men attractive, Sarah linked up with the Rice during the weekend tournament. One friend recalls, "They went out. I suspect it was more than that. I can't say I know they had sex, but I remember Sarah feeling pretty good that she'd been with a black basketball star."
In one version of the story, Sarah's encounter with Rice took place in her sister Molly's dorm room at the University of Alaska Anchorage. "She hauled his ass down," a friend says, "but she freaked out afterward. Hysterical, crying, totally flipped out. The thing that people remember is her freak-out, how completely crazy she got: I fucked a black man! She was just horrified. She couldn't believe she'd done it."
Glen Rice remembers the weekend quite differently. When I spoke to him by telephone in March 2011, he said, "I remember it as if it was yesterday. She was a sweetheart. I met her almost as soon as we got out there."
Rice does not recall being in a university dorm room. "We hung out mostly at the hotel where the team was staying," he told me. "We just hit off. In a short time, we got to know a lot about one another. It was all done in a respectful way, nothing hurried."
"So you never had the feeling she felt bad about having sex with a black guy?" I asked.
"No, no, no, nothing like that," Rice said. "Even after I left Alaska, we talked a lot on the phone. I think right up until the time she got married. She was a gorgeous woman. Super nice. I was blown away by her. Afterward, she was a big crush that I had. I talked about her for a long time. Only good things. She was a well-rounded young lady. It's amazing the way that's stayed with me. I think the utmost of her and I felt that way from the start."
It was all done in a respectful way, nothing hurried. The Palin-Rice liaison was basically the middle portion of a Boyz II Men slow jam. I can't wait to find out what Terry Mills did at the Grover Norquist breakfast meeting.