This is a story about books, basketball, and lessons learned on my journey to becoming the best version of myself.
On an August day in 1989, I walked into Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana to start my first year as an Indiana Hoosiers basketball player under coach Bob Knight. Coach Knight approached me with a copy of Tom Clancy’s The Sum Of All Fears in hand.
Coach loaned me the book because he thought I might enjoy it as much as he had. This was not the only book coach that passed along.
This encounter and others like it with Coach Knight set the tone for our relationship and forever changed my life. Coach Knight used basketball as a tool to prepare young men for success in life long after their competitive basketball days were over.
Coach Knight taught us about teamwork, leadership, and, of course, work ethic. He often did so by inviting his personal friends Johnny Bench… Bill Parcells… Bo Schembechler… John Havlicek, and Tony La Russa to speak to us at practice. These men encouraged us to apply Coach Knight’s lessons to all aspects of our lives, not just basketball. We learned from successful men that there are no shortcuts to success.
Coach Knight’s impact on my life goes beyond basketball. His lessons are instrumental in my approach to life. Coach Knight’s leadership lessons continue to help me professionally and personally.
Whether in sports or in life success is not so much about striving to overcome the opposing team, but is more about the pursuit of becoming the best version of yourself. Coach Knight’s lessons remind me to work each day to improve my skills and abilities for the betterment of our team and to strive to be the absolute person best I can be.
Until next time for stories beyond the scores, I’m Chris Reynolds.