Just some thoughts:
One of the years I coached I was an assistant coach at this very small county high school near Tipton, Indiana.
I was young, full of ideas, loved the game. I have many memories of that year. One of the classic lines in life was said to me by a young man who was on that team.
It was quite a year. The junior varsity had never been very successful or really considered much of a factor in the program or the school for that matter. Ole young and idealist Adamson thinking he might be the next coming or at least giving birth to the continuation of Johnny Wooden.
For some reason so many of those kids still stay with me. I had a kid I thought could be pretty good, great hands, a good shooter. Later I was proven right as he went on to play division one college ball in Tennessee and be selected all conference. Mention his name today on that college campus and the old timers, “hey I remember him, boy could he shoot.”
I had another kid, over weight, slow and what I remember about him was how he just wanted to be a part of something. During that year I would learn of his home life and fell even more partial to him. You know if you ever taught or coached you could marvel at how some kids survived what they were living thru. Sadly I also had a kid, who I still remember hitting a baseline jump shot to win a game, shortly after his graduation his life would be taken in an car accident.
But the classic line kid. One night we are off playing in some forsaken place like Red Key or whatever and we are getting our brains beat out. A real slacken. There was this one kid on the team that always wanted to sit by me during the game. He seldom played but it was evident he loved the game. Maybe more so than any kid we had on the team. As I said one night we are getting hammered. I had already called a couple time outs trying to stop the bleeding. We are sitting there trying to remain calm, the other team is pressing us all over the place. We are throwing the ball into the stands etc. They score a basket and again are all over us with their pressure defense, when this kids turns to me (by the way he stuttered) so add that into his line to me…..”Coach…. coach….coach…we’re getting killed…don’t you think we should do something?” I remember calling him by name and saying to him, “We’re trying.” His reply, “Well coach what we’re tryin’ aint workin’, so don’t you think we better try something else”? Today I smile at that line.
You know sometimes in life there are times we need to ask ourselves, “Is this workin’, maybe we need to be doin’ something else.”.
Footnote: About that young man…I always remember he used the word “We” “We better try something else.” He wasn’t even in the game but he still thought in terms of “We” and not “Them.” He wasn’t even on the floor, but yet he was in the game.
The world could use more “We’s today and less “Them’s.”
December 9, 2019