Friday, March 26, 2010 at 6:23 p.m.
We enjoyed our many hours in 2008 at Maricopa County Juvenile Court in south Phoenix, after which we published some stories about how things play out down there.
We spent days on end in the courtroom of Judge Mike Kemp, who then was new to the bench and learning the ropes in juvie court.
Kemp proved to be a compassionate jurist, who was firm when he had to be (which was often) with the under-18-and-in-trouble set and their often-wayward parents.
Kemp is a lanky, athletic-looking guy who spoke more than once during breaks in the action of still loving to play basketball (alas, that's not him anywhere in the old-school photo).
We didn't know until the other day that Kemp was a four-year player and a good one -- at Northern Iowa University.
That's the mid-major school that absolutely shocked the college world last week by beating Kansas, the number-one team in the land.
Few expected Northern Iowa to be in the Sweet Sixteen, where they will be playing Michigan State in a few minutes. But, heck, they've got a shot getting to the Final Four.
Scanning the UNI Panthers media guide, we learned the following:
Kemp made Academic All-Conference in 1977 and 1978, as well as what the guide calls winning the "prestigious" NCAA post-graduate scholarship in 1979.
He's a bright and conscientious guy, so that wasn't particularly unexpected.
But we also noted that Kemp had big games at he NCAA Division II nationals in Omaha and that he finished the 39th all-time scorer in Northern Iowa history with 895 points.
Seems that Kemp was a team player, and a good student, to boot.
Actually, he's a pretty good Superior Court judge, and a humble guy to boot.
So, let's just say for the record, Go Panthers!