The first Manny Díaz was a friend of mine. He refereed many of my basketball games in Havana, including several international tournaments, and although we had a few encounters and disagreements,” he was always fair and professional.
On April 21, 1959, I established Cuba’s one-game record of 48 points, which has not yet been broken. At the end of the game, Manny came over, unusual for a referee, shook my hand and congratulated me. I will never forget that or Manny’s friendship.
His son, also Manny Díaz, is also a friend of mine. He is too young to remember my games with his dad officiating, but in my book, he not only is an excellent attorney, but one of the best mayors that Miami has ever had.
I haven’t met the third Manny Díaz, the former mayor’s son, but the Miami native has just extended the pride of this family tradition by being hired as the University of Miami Hurricanes’ defensive coordinator. I am sure that, like his grandfather and his father, he will make us proud.