Final Meetings

This week marks the final five days of the spring semester. Bleary-eyed college students wander around campus, finding fresh air and caffeine from the Student Union in order to stay awake as they study for finals. One of my favorite memories as a college student was the moment I walked out of the last final exam. I would immediately jump in my car and cruise campus, mocking the poor students still facing dreaded tests. If I had Friday finals, one of my least favorite memories was being mocked by my buddies who had already finished. Continue reading

Then and Now

My son, Sam, had a math worksheet he needed to complete this weekend. It was suppose to help him get ready for achievement testing. One series of questions involved the number of years in a certain number of Decades. Decades come easy for me since I was born in a year divisible by 10 (1950). Every time the year changes to that divisibility, I know how many decades I have been alive. If you’re up on your decades, I just began my sixth decade of life. Most of four of those decades have been in girls’ high school or women’s college basketball. I have been very fortunate to see the sport advance into a great game. However, there are marked differences from all those years ago. Continue reading

Youth Tournaments

In 1995, I needed a fundraiser for my women’s basketball team at Doane College. I had a few connections with the Lincoln YMCA. They host a huge youth tournament each year. It looked like the perfect format for an event at Doane College. The Tiger Youth Basketball Tournament was set for early April. My connections got me a very large mailing list. I figured if we had 20 or 30 teams that first year, I could declare the fundraiser a success. It was the worst case of underestimating I’ve ever done. When the dust had cleared, 150 teams had entered. I needed 15 gyms in three different towns to pull it off. Instead of just involving the women’s basketball team, I had to use the whole athletic department. It was rewarding and very, very, tiring. It was also very educational. Continue reading

National Championship and Opening Day

In 1988, I was coaching at Doane College. We had just ended our first of 12 consecutive 20-win seasons. I was feeling great. Recruiting was going great. The weather was perfect for the spring and my favorite sport was beginning. I love coaching basketball, but I LOVE baseball. That spring in 1988 was very special. The Kansas Jayhawks had Danny (Manning) and the Miracles and Oklahoma had Coach Billy Tubbs telling his crowds not to throw things at the officials, no matter how bad they were. The two Big 8 rivals were meeting in the national championship game in Kansas City. Twenty-two years ago, Kemper Auditorium wasn’t a forgotten arena. It was the sight of the Final Four. That very same day, the Kansas City Royals were opening their season with a home game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Continue reading