This year, he told people about his insatiable appetite for chocolate-peanut butter treats.
Growing up in Bronx, N.Y., Larranaga played a lot of basketball — sunup to sundown on the city courts — and was a high school star at powerhouse Archbishop Molloy under legendary coach Jack Curran. All while fueled by copious amounts of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
“I had some terrible eating habits as a youngster,” he said. “My mom gave me 50 cents to go to school … and that 50 cents was to buy like a hot dog or a hamburger and a drink. And instead of spending it on good, nutritious food, I bought 10 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. And I did that every day for four years.”
Let’s unwrap this, here.
According to Reese’s website, two Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — one package — contains 210 calories, 13 grams of fat and 21 grams of sugar. There’s also five grams of protein there.
Let’s operate under the assumption the nutritional content of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup hasn’t changed since the late ’60s, because that’s quite possible. Let’s also say he meant 10 individual cups, not 10 packages.
If he ate 10 cups every lunch period, a shaggy-haired, teenage Larranaga would have consumed 1,050 calories, 65 grams of fat and 105 grams of sugar every lunch period — in just Reese’s. If Larranaga meant 10 packages, that becomes 2,100 calories, 130 grams of fat and 210 grams of sugar. Even for a 6-foot-4, ultra-active teenager, that’s a lot.
If he was hungry today, Larranaga could equal that by downing a Brownie Cookie Dough Blizzard from Dairy Queen, which packs 1,140 calories, 48 grams of fat and 121 grams of sugar.
“My high school coach was asked by my wife, do you know what my husband ate for lunch? And he said, yeah, 10 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Everybody knew. So I’m not proud of that.”
For a dude running on a ridiculous amount of sugar, Larranaga did OK. He became a standout at Providence College, where he presumably cut down on the cups. He took George Mason to a Final Four and Miami to a pair of Sweet 16s. The Hurricanes are picked to finish ninth this year, but have a history of surprising people.
“I hope my players are eating better than I did, but I do have a sweet tooth,” he said. “Even today.”