Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Mankind and Paul Blart were high school teammates

(Credit: Watchdog)

While talking to Mick Foley for my newspaper column, I asked the pro wrestling star about his high school wrestling teammate in Ward Melville's Class of 1983: Kevin (Paul Blart) James.

"I was talking to friends of mine and saying, 'Do you believe Kevin is a legitimate movie star?'" Foley said. "Not only did he do well with the TV series, but he's a guy who'll be able to do popular movies for years to come . . . He just got all the likeable big-guy stuff back in high school."

"Paul Blart: Mall Cop" was panned by critics but has become one of the most successful January releases in movie history.

"I just missed Kevin when I was at the BCS Championship Game but I ran into one of his writers, who was a friend of Kevin's in high school, and he was laughing, saying, 'Geez, they never guessed during the filming of this thing it would be such a huge deal,'" Foley said.

"I went to see a movie while I was with my kids in New Hampshire and the trailer for 'Mall Cop' got more laughs than the entire feature film got. I mentioned to my mom that the film had actually taken in 25 percent more money than the week before, which is almost unheard of, so it has to be positive word of mouth."

Foley said he is happy for James, with whom he also attended SUNY-Cortland. "When he transferred to Cortland he and I spent quite a bit of time hanging out in college," Foley said.

Photo: Getty

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