2020 has had a crazy start and my 20 years plus as Charlottes Jr. Head Coach job came to an even crazier ending. How? Let me explain.
When your time comes to say good bye as a coach I think you know that time. This season, I decided after talking with my wife that I would roll away from a program that I loved and served for over 20 years. Bitter sweet no matter how I carved it up . Yes, I would reallocate time toward family and other pursuits that made sense to me. As the season wound down the reality of my decision became more real and emotional. I was going to hang up my whistle!
Lakeshore was my last conference tournament of coaching the Charlotte Rollin Hornets Varsity team and my long time friend Lisa Hilborn, Director of Athletics gave me a moment of recognition at center court. As I said goodbye to this critical chapter of my life in the game of giving back to our youth in the NWBA it became surreal. Nearing the end but Nationals just around the corner in Wichita !!
On March 12th, I had an early morning flight into Wichita on the day the coronavirus put a strangle hold on our country and all sporting events. I woke up approximately 4am, checked my phone to see that indeed our Jr. National Tournament was canceled. I went back to bed and woke to what felt like a bad dream! What about the Seniors not getting to play their final games, what about me not being able to coach these kids whom I could call my very own ? Just one more time? Not to be...! Are best laid human plans changed by a world changing virus.
On March 19th, I get a huge surprise that lifted my spirits. I was told I was awarded by the NWBA Jr. Division the ‘ Ed Owen’ Coach of the Year’. Wow, most don’t know, but Ed Owen was my first Coach and changed my life by introducing and teaching me the ‘Game’ ! The comments on social media were sobering coming from junior players, former junior players and parents. Through such an outpouring of love and testimonial I was given a new reality that what I did for kids really mattered. DK tears are going on now! If you know me, you know it doesn’t take much for me to cry.
I do none of this with out the help of others i.e. all my assistant coaches along the way, parents who trusted me, the NWBA, and sponsors, including PER4MAX, Spinergy, and ABC Medical.
My wife, Sandy and my family let me say thank you as my greatest of all time teammates!