|2017 Men's NCAA Final Four|
I know he is eager, he will set in the stands with me, he will see the big stage, I hope it inspires him to continue to grow as a young man and as a player as he aspires to continue his play.
I am also excited to reconnect with many coaches in the industry. I know this is a madhouse for many who have a resume in hand and they are looking to land a job. The lobby's of the hotels are a who's who of coaches, Athletic Directors are looking for the right fit to build or turn around their programs and institutions. Once a guy is named, they will be hustling to to put together a staff.
I see this as an opportunity to introduce my son to many friends in the industry.
I will get to see many of my former players who are now coaches at different levels.
I have to admit, it is an honor to be contacted by your former players. It get excited to reconnect with them, I am eager to hear where they are on their journey's. I am excited to share memories, I get emotional as deep down this is what it is all about. This is a legacy, I hope I have been able to touch and inspire them to be better men, better husbands, better coaches. I hope that I taught them something about the game that they to pass on to the next generation of players.
a decade ago, I would be the man on the hustle looking for a position. I am now blessed and lucky enough that I can pick and choose the position I am looking for. but, I understand the grind, I understand the pressure,. I understand the stress and anxiety of it all. I am sure as I attend the games, I can now view the games from a different lens.
I will enjoy the excitement of the games through the eyes of my son. I know he will take this experience all in. I know he will be daydreaming that it was he on the big stage. I know he will soak up the atmosphere. I know he will watch the players and then try to emulate the moves. I know he will see the thousands of fans in the stands, I know he will hear the roar of the crowd. I know he will be thinking the game out in his mind what he would do, what the teams should do.
Who do I want to win? well, I don't have a dog in the fight.
I am happy for Coaches Frank Martin and the success his South Carolina team has achieved. Their first ever Final Four. I have seen him transform his style in the past few years from his Kansas St program. This is proof positive Coaches continue to learn and grow daily. I guess they are tagged the Cinderellas of the Big Dance? but, defense travels !
How about the job Coach Mark Few has done with building his Gonzaga team has had this season. Only one loss all year to a growing BYU team. BYU has players I have been blessed to have worked with at the AAU level. The Zags, made famous from Hall of Famer Jazz PG John Stockton. but, Mark Few has stayed persistent and built one of the top programs in the country. Mark Few has not been lured away to the larger programs for more money. He has a home. he has remained loyal to the institution that gave him his shot to live his dream. I respect that, I admire that. I am Happy to see him and his team in the final four for the first time in schools history.
Coach Dana Altman and his Oregon Ducks. This is a team that has been sneaky good all year.
Here is a guy who came up the coaching ranks from mid major program in the Midwest.Teams on the east coast had no idea how good they were? East Coast TV didn't show a lot of Pac 12 games? yet, UCLA and the Ball family are getting all of the publicity. but that is another post for another day.
This is about the Ducks and the cliche' survive and advance mantra. The Ducks have not been in the Final Four for decades. Is this his one shinning moment? He has great players, nice athletes who believe in in themselves. Yes, they have NIKE in their backyard as an endorsement and wonderful uniforms from NIKE, but they are more than that.
Then Coach Roy Williams of UNC. The only traditional powerhouse left. Could he win #3 and become apart of only a select few who have done it before him? Does america cheer against him because they are a traditional powerhouse? Well, lets look at it like this. These players are hungry and have a redemption mindset. They were a few seconds from winning it all last year until a long 3 pt shot took away their crown as Nova ran a perfectly executed special situation play as PG ran in front of the shooter and made the perfect pass in rhythm to the shooter who did what he has done all season long. Yes, it made the MJ crying meme popular. but, this UNC team has length, has size and they gave the young guard crew of Kentucky fits.
The stage is set, The Teams are preparing to stay focused with the media distractions in full force.
Saturday two games will decide who will play in the Final Game on Monday.
Saturday: South Carolina vs Gonzaga
Oregon vs North Carolina
Will it be a battle of the Carolina's? Will it be the Wild Wild West? Will Cinderella finds it way? Will the traditional program rise?
Well, I will be there, I will watch it all unfold. I will watch it all, I will keep in mind all the story lines.
I will live it through my son's eyes.
I will enjoy and take it all in. I am excited to see many friends, former players, coaches, media, yes, I will have a few important meetings set up. This is March Madness ! for any basketball junkie like myself, this is the pinnacle.but, remember in this one and done format, anyone can win it all !
but, in the coming weeks, the NBA Playoffs will begin. I am equally excited to watch the drama of that unfold as well.
I Love me some basketball ! I am blessed to be in the industry. oh, by the way, this was all made possible as my wife surprised my son and I and set all of this up so we could enjoy this as a family ! I am blessed. Enjoy the weekend, Enjoy the Finals ! let the barbershop talk begin.
hey NCAA, this is a multi billion dollar industry, should changes be made for the participants?
let the debate begin ! but lets not loose sight of what is special about this BIG DANCE ! I know it is a business, but for these student/athletes this is a dream moment. they grew up shooting on nerf hoops in the bedroom, or on the driveway counting down 3-2-1 and hit the jumper to win it all.
this is the NCAA Final Four !