This is long and well worth the read!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow is all I can say! I just experienced first hand the true power of the Law of Attraction!
Several of my goals over the past several years has been to re-kindle the relationship of the people who have had an impact on the man I have become. There are many and there are many more to come, I am sure! Several that stand out, were the coaching staff and the players of the 1972 – 1974 LSU Baskeball team.
I was eleven years old then. A new master motivator came to town, Coach Dale Brown, originally from Minot, South Dakota. A football town, at that! Baton Rouge, Louisianna! He was a preacher of basketball and of life! He was on a mission and he had a cause! His cause was to revive the LSU basketball program! In my opinion, it was never alive! “Pistol Pete” Maravich was Showtime, but the teams of the past, never really did much! So, in my opinion, he was on a mission to create a program that would seek the glory years of other stand out programs.
He handed out positive affirmations, personal growth stories, quotes, “To never ever give up”, etc… He was everywhere, like superman! He was selling his team and LSU basketball as a way of life!!!! I attended every event, open practice, photo shoot, clinic. What ever was being put on, I was there! I BOUGHT IN!!!!!! He also brought in a fresh new coaching staff! Jack Schallow and Homer Drew. He brought in and consulted with some of the very best coaching minds of all time, John Wooden and Adolph Rupp!
(Side note, because he did this I had the pleasure of meeting both of them at the same time. Coach Wooden said I looked like a fine young man and to focus on the fundamentals, practice and to never give up and you can go far! He then patted me on the head. Coach Rupp said to do what he said (Coach Wooden) and you will be just fine! He then patted me on the head too! Also in that mix was Bob Petit, Rod Milburn, and Governor Edwin Edwards. I have all of their autographs (except the Governor’s, he was not important to me.) and that program in my office! How many people can say that they have met two of the greatest coaches of all time, the World Record Holder in the High Hurdles and one of the 50 greatest basketball players of all time, at the same time?
What I realized later in life, was how that was a defining moment in my life! November 10, 1973! Two of the greatest coaches had given me positive affirmations! I was fine, I was young! I could do it! To never give up! All I had to do was focus on the fundamentals, to practice and I could go far! Those few words have helped define who I am today! Wow. I get goose bumps from it!). All thanks to Coach Dale Brown! Coach Brown had uttered the exact same words to me also!
For Coach Dale Brown knew how to raise the bar for himself and for those around him! That very first LSUteam was called “The Hustlers”! They were picked to finish dead last and to not win more than two games all year. I believe their record was a respectable 14-14. More importantly, they were winners! They played team ball! They never gave up! They raised the bar. I believe the very first game was against Memphis State, at home! They two All Americans and were a top ten team. Guess what, we spanked them! Memphis State went on to the Championship game, later in 1973, where they lost to Bill Walton and UCLA. Coached by none other, John Wooden.
Before each game, I would go up to Coach Brown and tell him good luck tonight! I also did the same to many of the players! Eddie Palubinskas, Mike Darnall, Carl Seiner, Collis Temple, Wade Evans, Ed LeBlanc, to name a few! I remember those early years at LSU (1972-1974) like they were yesterday! I was a very lucky kid. I got to go to all of the open practices, camps, events, and games that went on those first two years! Several highlights for me included getting to go to that Purple/Gold dinner and meet Adolph Rupp and John Wooden, sitting on the bench for that first win over Kentucky (January 5, 1974) and then again against Auburn later that season. There are many more and I could go on and on!