Don't be on the other side of the net. That was the sound advice opposition volleyball players learned about Amarnauth Lachhman. He possessed a devastating ability to spike the ball. Small wonder. He was six feet two, 220 pounds. Who would want to be on the other side of the net? "He was just awesome at spiking," said Gopaul Lachhman, one of his brothers.
A strong but gentle man, Mr. Lachhman, 41, started playing volleyball when he was a teenager in his native Guyana. He became so proficient that twice he was selected to play on the national team that competed against teams of other countries.
In the early 1980's, Mr. Lachhman settled in the United States, and eventually got into construction work. He was employed by PM Contracting, and was doing office renovations for Cantor Fitzgerald.
In Valley Stream, on Long Island, where he lived with his wife, Kamee, and his two children, Andrew, 13, and Stephanie, 7, he continued to indulge his knack for volleyball. He played with his son in the backyard, and he put together periodic adult games in the park. Everyone always wanted to be on his team, because it invariably won. "Whenever there was a big play, they would go to him," Mrs. Lachhman said.
In the evenings, his interest switched to Clint Eastwood, whose movies he adored. Each time "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" came on, volleyball yielded to the television set.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 30, 2001.