Andrew R. Hoban

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Andrew R. Hoban, 22; Made most of his many talents

Andrew R. Hoban had never been to The Station before that Thursday night.

He was there to meet a client about a refinancing deal he was working on, said Richard C. Lamendola, Andrew's youth baseball and basketball coach in North Kingstown, who later became friends with him.

"He was a kid who just happened to be in the wrong place," said Lamendola.

Andrew was 22. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island last May.

As he did every year, Andrew spent last summer and part of the fall working in the pro shop at Quidnessett Country Club, just 2 1/2 miles from the house where he grew up. His parents, John and Nancy, and younger sister, Kerrie, still live there.

He was an amateur golfer who regularly competed in local tournaments and dreamed of qualifying for the professional tour.

Maybe he could have made it, too, said Brian Thimme, general manager of the country club. "He had so much potential."

Instead, when the golf season ended in November, Andrew took a job as a mortgage broker for the Homestar Mortgage Co., in North Kingstown.

He probably would have been a successful broker, too, said Lamendola, who has known Andrew since he was 9.

"It was just the attitude he had," Lamendola said. "He took the talent he had and made the most of it. He was a real hard worker."

Tall and gangly and known for a strong arm, Andrew was an all-star third baseman on the Wilson's of Wickford Astros from 1990 to 1992. The team was North Kingstown Little League champion in 1991 and 1992.

That winning streak continued when he played for the Fleet Reserve team in the town's Senior League, and they won championships from 1993 to 1995.

"I hate to say franchise player," said Lamendola. "But that's what he was."

Andrew was also a forward on Catholic Youth Organization basketball teams and went on to play for the Skippers at North Kingstown High School. He was an honors student his sophomore year and graduated in 1998.

Around the time he started high school, he was hired at Quidnessett Country Club.

He started out as a part-time caddy and worked up to running the golf-equipment room in the pro shop and helping to organize tournaments. Along the way, he took up golf himself.

He was a popular employee -- "the guy with the smile," Thimme said.

Andrew was close to his family and the community he grew up in. That's part of the reason why he went to URI and why he spent his summers refereeing youth basketball games, Lamendola said.

"The kid deserves a better story than this," he said.

-- Alex Kuffner

Source - Providence Journal



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