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David Brown

Villanova's Final Four run motivated by J-Roll's mad texting skills

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When it comes to motivational speakers in sports, there's Knute Rockne and then there's everybody else.

But if we give Jimmy Rollins time, maybe his legend someday will ascend to that of Rockne, who inspired the Fighting Irish football team to, among other things, win one for the Gipper.

The case for Rollins: When coach Jay Wright seeks to spark Villanova's men's basketball team, he says he sometimes finds inspiration from Rollins, the shortstop and internationally acclaimed guru of motivation.

Yes, it's true. Rollins has been a fan of Philly's top basketball team for several years now and the 2007 NL MVP and 2008 world bleeping champion fears not when it comes to passing along encouragement — even to a high-profile college basketball coach.

SportsRadioInterviews.com has the details, including audio from the interview on ESPN 950 in Philly, where J-Wright all but calls J-Roll a Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, Vince Lombardi and Dick Gregory all rolled into one 5-foot-7 infielder.

Wright, from ESPN 950:

"He's inspirational in his texts. He sends me inspirational stuff to share with the team. He's done this even during the season... he'll reference points in the baseball season or things they did last year during the playoff race and things he said to his team and he'll reference that... and say your game was like that.

"He gave me one recently on a book to give to Scottie Reynolds that he read during his 0-for-10 stretch during the playoffs. It was actually a mental book about tennis. He's a great leader, that guy. I take some of his stuff and I copy it and share it with the team. He's a great inspirational leader, I'm serious."

You don't have to convince those Philly folks, Jay.

But two wins this weekend might help bolster Rollins' resume for the rest of us, though.

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