2020 had a crazy start and my 20 years plus as Charlotte Jr. Head Coach's job comes to a crazy ending as well. Let me explain.
When your time comes to let go or say goodbye as a coach, I think you just know that time. This season I decided, after talking with my wife, that I would roll away from a program that I loved and served for over 20 years. It was bittersweet no matter how I carved it up. I could reallocate time toward my family and other pursuits that made sense to me. As the season wound down the reality of my decision became more real and emotional. I was going to hang up my whistle!
Lakeshore was my last conference tournament of coaching the Charlotte Rollin' Hornets Varsity team and my longtime friend Lisa Hilborn, Director of Athletics gave me a moment of recognition at center court. As I said goodbye to this critical chapter of my life in the game of giving back to our youth in the NWBA it became surreal. An era was nearing the end but Nationals was just around the corner in Wichita!!
I had an early morning flight into Wichita on the day the Corona Virus put a stranglehold on our country and all sporting events. I woke up at approximately 4am, checked my phone to see that indeed our Jr. National Tournament was canceled. I went back to bed and woke to what felt like a bad dream! What about the seniors not getting to play their final games? What about me not being able to coach the kids who I could call my very own? Just one more time? Not to be...! Our best laid human plans changed by a world-changing virus.
After a week had passed, I get a huge surprise that lifted my spirits. I was told I was awarded by the NWBA Jr. Division the ‘Ed Owen’ Coach of the Year’. Wow! Most people don’t know it, but Ed Owen was my first coach. He changed my life by introducing to and teaching me the ‘Game’! The comments on Facebook were sobering coming from junior players, former junior players and parents. Through such an outpouring of love and testimonial, I was given a new reality that what I did for kids mattered. DK tears are going on now! If you know me, you know it doesn’t take much for me to cry.
I do none of this without the help of others i.e. all my assistant coaches along the way, parents who trusted me, the NWBA, and sponsors. My wife, Sandy, and my family let me say thank you as my greatest-of-all-time teammates!
Dare to Have a Voice. Your Voice Matters to Plant the Seeds of Hope in this World!
Politics and sports.
These two words have always represented two separate and divergent worlds to me.
That is no longer the case anymore.
A family holiday trip to Alabama for Santiago (Santi) Rueda over Memorial Day weekend, simple and sweet. You drive for hours and you visualize along the way the fun you are about to have once you arrive! The vision does not include any negative thoughts, just anticipation of all the activity and food one can have on such a trip....which Santi’s family has done countless times before.
The weekend had begun and Santi and his Mom, Serena, mount an ATV to punch their fun meter together. Something about ATV’s, Jet Ski’s or even sit down mowers that we take for granted. Operation of an ATV seems to be an easy do, as we are unsuspecting participants that unintentionally underestimate the danger that lurks behind the above mentioned equipment.
The 15th Annual Dallas DK 3-on-3 is right around the corner. On June 2-3rd, 2018 over 50 athletes are traveling to Dallas, Texas for 2 days of high-level basketball. I thought it might be time to explain the event and how it came to be as DK 3-on-3 and the brand 'DK3.'
15 years ago, my great friend Michael 'Shorty' Powers and his organization Turning Point, asked me to run a basketball event "to be held within the structure of their flagship event, Turning Points, Texas ‘Extravaganza’ (a multi-activity sport participation event)." Some big names we know today were part of the first event: Paul Schulte, Pat Anderson, and Willie Hernandez to name a few. This was the birth place of this annual 3-on-3 event. Thanks Shorty for your vision!
"Shorty" Michael Lewis Powers passed away on June 19th, 2016. You can read Dave Kiley's tribute to "Shorty" here.
It's zero dark thirty. My wife and I are awake, getting ready for a 6 AM flight into Orange County, CA. It hurts at first, but we know a vacation to my roots, where I grew up and where we both lived for many years was going to be worth it. Our plane leaves in the dark and then we see an unbelievable sunrise
from our seats which sets the tone for what was to come.
There are a few benchmarks that occur in our lives that are significant or monumental. They can sometimes break our hearts or bring us to our knees. There are always those times though that one will remember for a lifetime for the good it has done, not just for the individual, but more importantly for the masses it effects. In this blog, I will attempt to capture such an occurrence.
Well I have never had a bracket so blown up as this year. Absolutely my worst attempt at picking winners in my history !!
After my spinal cord injury in 1973 my biggest fear and concern was not getting my legs back. Sounds weird? I was told early on by a hospital acute care aid that I probably would neither be able to have kids nor walk again. He spoke out of turn and my father later had that guy pinned up against the wall for telling me that. Well, I was certainly crushed by the news, like my spinal cord. My foxhole prayer to my God was that if he was going to take my legs, please ‘Lord let me have children!" I prayed this over and over as I laid in my hospital bed at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in Southern California. Why I felt that way back then, I’m still not sure. I had a constant vision of being a father, having a beautiful wife and become a parent and yes, even a grandparent at the age of 19. So, after my 4 month stay in prison, aka rehab lol I was turned loose on the world with a new life in front of me. A life I was petrified and uncertain about. In the prison rehab, I was safe and protected. I didn’t want to leave as I had no confidence at all and especially with girls or women.
When I think of all the gifts I take for granted I guess the list is fairly extensive. I’m sure I am not alone in this regard as the things we would hold so dearly are often over looked in our day to day lives. As I write this blog I am reminded of how important my senses are.