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A little back story first. I was the manager of the High School basketball team here in my local town during high school. Yeah, that was me the guy carrying the uniforms, and the towels. Sounds inspiring right? I wanted to do that from the beginning. Wait Why? Why would anybody WANT to be the manager of a high school basketball team? I was not a fool. Sure I could have made the team and enjoyed the bench, but that didn't really interest me because to be honest I found that to be kinda boring.
I wanted to be useful, and well I had always wanted to be a basketball coach when I grew up. I went to the coach at the time during freshman year at Volunteer, and asked him if it could come along with the team and be apart of something special like I knew he had. He accepted my offer that day, but he knew my overall goal which was to be a coach one day.
His name is Coach Whitt. He is, outside of my parents, probably the greatest man to be apart of my life at any time. Little did I know on the day that I committed to being apart of his team what he would have in store for me, or how much he would care about my goal of one day being a basketball coach. I thought I would just be around for home games and the occasional extra task, but I couldn't have been more wrong. I was treated like as well if not better than some of the players were. As the manager I was made to come every practice in the summer time, open gym in the spring, summer team camps, and of course every in season practice. I was given practice plans, instructions on how each drill works, what each coach was looking for, what we should be doing in all of our sets, and to be honest anything you could ever imagine that has to do with the game of basketball. If the SAT was basketball X's and O's I would have went to Harvard. I was taken to the Bahamas for a tournament my Junior year, and Orlando for a tournament my senior year (Which we won). I was included in everything. It was the best four years of my life.
Finally,unknown to me, on senior appreciation night I was given a uniform and told to suit up. Late in the game Coach would put me in the game vs Sullivan North. We could set up and run a play that we called "Cal" to my side of the court. The idea was to get myself and open three point attempt. Again I stress I had played basketball all my life. I had made a choice to not play in high school, I was capable of playing. With that said when I received the pass off of Cal I took the three point shot and would actually be fouled on the play. This would of course mean that I would get to shoot three free throws. With the largest crowd of the season I knocked down all three, and would proceed to get mobbed by many many people. It was and still is a fantastic memory.
Through all of this I get to my point. Coach preached for Four years about Family about creating a basketball family and it worked well. Guys from many generations of teams get together every year at least once and year and celebrate the past while preparing for the future, but the glue to it all is Coach Whitt. He keeps us together.
Unfortunately three years ago coach was let go from my Alma Mater as the Head Basketball coach. It was a debatable decision at best by the board of education, but it was the decision that had been made.
In seeking new employment he obviously was looking for a Boys head coaching job, but no job would be available. He had only ever coached boys, but he loved the game so much he decided to take on the task of arguably the worst Girls program in the state of Tennessee which is in Mountain City. Before he had taken the Job in Mountain City the girls program was playing games in Practice Uniforms and had won one game in three years.
I, along with others, immediately started supporting the girls in Mountain City. Introducing them to the Family I guess you could say. His first season was a very tough one for anybody to swallow 1-24, but I promise you if you would have seen this team you would have been impressed with the One. These girls 10 of the 12 had never seen real organized basketball before. Season two was better with 6 wins and now after season Three they have won 9 games. It does not sound like much, but the state of affairs of the program is completely different. They actually have news paper coverage now. HAHA. They have real uniforms. Real sweatsuits. They have a head ball coach that cares.
Today I get a text messages from Coach Whitt. He wants me to be a guest speaker at his season ending banquet. The banquet which all of the parents from each of the girls on his team will be at. What a huge honor this is for me. I have completed thousands of tasks for this man, but this will probably be my highest honor ever.
I hope this story was not to much of a bore for everybody. I just had to share. Somethings in life cannot ever be replicated.
There are only four answers to any question: Yes, No, I don't know, or the Correct Answer.
Awesome man. Knock it of the park.
I will be trying pretty hard. I have came to know these girls pretty well over the last couple of seasons, but it always quite the challenge to say something constructive in these settings.
Awesome story, bro. Speak from the heart! You got plenty to share! You had me zoned in and I was just reading your typed version! + 1
Thank you TreBonez, The fact that you were zoned in during my typed version makes me very happy. I rarely share this story, but after the offer today I had to tell someone..ha +1
Did your team beat Sullivan North that night?
No problem! I first looked at it and said, "I'll just glance over" then next thing I know I'm zoned in and fired up and making a reply! It's an awesome story! The girls are gonna love hearing what you have to say! You're gonna kill it!
Yes, and another one of my teammates eclipsed 1000 points that night.
Must not have been when I was a student there
It is a super cheesy story written in the Rogersville Review but here you go.. http://therogersvillereview.com/story/6894
That is awesome, Alderman! Proud of you, man! ONC always said you were an athletic supporter, I thought he was just being mean. Great job, seriously. If you need any help writing the speech, I was assistant speechwriter for Governor Ray Blanton. (Pardon me for being facetious....).
Good luck, AD, I know you'll do great!
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
Thanks pepe, ONC is right as always. How do I pay you for the first draft? A six pack?
Great story Alderman. Congrats on the invitation. If you in person is as good as you on this board, the banquet attendees are in for a real treat. BTW, your story only escalated my opinion of you. Inspire some dreams Alderman. +1
BUTCH IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. GO VOLS!
So that was around 2009? Yeah that's close to a decade away from my era. (I didn't play past soph year btw, so nothing to brag about)
North will be one of the nicest middle schools around pretty soon....
No bore man, congrats! Good to share some good news w someone on days like today!
Nice write-up Mr. Dykes. A very good story.
I have no doubt that you will deliver an excellent speech at the banquet simply because you feel honored to be there. Sounds like you just need to be yourself and you'll be fine.
Photo to big...Will try again soon.
This post was edited by AldermanAl 12 months ago
"Count it down with me. Five, four, three, two, one.
The national champion is clad in Big Orange!"
Its not a stupid question until you ask it.
"Give him six" "We don't give a damn about the whole state of Alabama" "Grit N Grind"
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