by Alan Stein 10-04-2009 11:34 PM
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of speaking at a Nike Championship Basketball Clinic in St. Louis, Missouri. I have been speaking on the Nike circuit for four years now and really enjoy the opportunity to share info, meet new coaches, travel the country, and learn from some of the top basketball minds in the game. Each event is a unique and exciting experience. The clinics are held Friday through Sunday and I am usually one of the first speakers on Saturday morning. My normal routine is to fly in Friday night, speak Saturday morning, and then fly home Saturday afternoon. However, this time I chose to stay through Sunday because I wanted to see the legendary Hubie Brown speak Saturday night. Per his usual, he did a tremendous job, and combined his extensive basketball wisdom with several hilarious stories and anecdotes.
After he spoke, he stayed around for another 45 minutes answering additional questions, signing autographs, and taking pictures. While I am sure he was tired and despite the fact it was getting late and he had a 5:30am flight the next morning, he was a true class act and patiently hung around until the last coach left. I was so impressed with how genuine and humble he was. Afterwards, I got to have dinner with him, Ed Janka (the man who runs the Nike Clinics), and a few of his friends. It was an incredible experience.
Hubie Brown is 76 years old and has been involved in high-level basketball for over 50 years. He, literally, has seen and done everything in this game. He told story after story and was fascinating. It was incredible to hear how the game has changed, how the players have changed, and how the money has changed over that span. Ever since I was young, I have been a bit of basketball historian and have enjoyed studying and learning from players and teams from before my time. Even now I am currently reading Pistol Pete’s biography. So to get an opportunity to hear first-hand accounts from a living basketball legend was a real honor. He told stories ranging from a brilliant way to defend an out of bounds play at the end of the game to a former player who bought a $30,000 Cadillac (despite the fact his yearly salary was only $35,000) to the first night he coached Kareem (with the Milwaukee Bucks) and saw him eat an extra large pizza in the locker room 6 minutes before warm-ups! NOTE: Kareem had 38 points, 16 rebounds, and 8 blocked shots that night.
That night, before I went to bed, I reflected on how truly fortunate I have been in my career to have had experiences like that. I have met and rubbed elbows with many of the best coaches and players to have ever played the game – from John Wooden and Dean Smith to Coach K and Roy Williams to MJ to Dr. J to LeBron to Kobe. I really do feel like Will Ferrell in the movie Wedding Crashers… “I’m just livin’ the dream!”
There is only one basketball icon I have yet to meet; and that is the General Bob Knight. However, I just got word that I will get to meet him this spring! He will be speaking at the same Nike Clinics I will be speaking at in New York and Wisconsin. I have always been a huge Coach Knight fan. As entertaining as my dinner with Hubie was, can you even imagine dinner with Coach Knight?! I can’t wait!
I try to never take these opportunities for granted and am so thankful for each and every experience. I have been doing this professionally for 10 years now… and wow… it has been quite the journey! In a future blog, I plan to count down my top 10 moments/experiences.
If I can ever help you or your program or if I can in any way add to your own journey, don’t hesitate to email me at Alan@StrongerTeam.com. I will respond as quickly as possible!
Train hard. Train smart.
Published 10-04-2009 © 2022 Access Athletes, LLC
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