March 31, 1975
On Friday, March 28, 1975, my brother and I were both granted a day off from school to attend the “practice session” for the Final Four in San Diego. I was excited to be going but more juiced about missing school. This was a day for me to hang out with “THE TROUS” and I’d tag along where ever he went.
The sessions started and I was more impressed with the people in the crowd who were watching the practice than I was with what was going on down on the floor. I hated practice. I hated practice in high school, hated it in college and hate it to this day as a coach. I only tolerate it now but it is still very painful. My team growing up was UCLA, so of course, I enjoyed their workout session, but I still wasn’t able to focus.
Then something happened. The team from Kentucky took the floor. They were different than any other team I had ever seen. I was sitting center court and close enough to see and hear them in all their glory. They had these strange accents, pristine haircuts, the whitest of white practice gear and the absolute sweetest shoes I’d ever seen. This large man walked out on the floor with jet black hair that made him look like a 5 Star General about to command his troops in WAR. He said something that was barely audible and then…BOOM! I witnessed the most precise, choreographed activity imaginable. It Wasn’t practice, it was ART. I became enthralled with players like Jimmy Dan Conner, Kevin Grevey, Jack Givens, Rick Robey and Coach, Joe B. Hall. I was hooked. No, not hooked, I was OBSESSED with what I had just seen.
(the team that changed my life)
Right then I knew, at age 15, I WAS GOING TO BE A COLLEGE BASKETBALL COACH. It was like I got the call. I was reborn. I was saved. I wanted to stand up and yell, “I FOUND MY PURPOSE”, but I didn’t, because I knew if I did, my brother would beat my ass. Instead, I just sat there and grinned from ear to ear like I’ve never grinned before