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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Lenten Blogging 2022: Day 15

It's been awhile since I really followed college basketball.  It's still the sport dearest to my heart, mostly because I remember cheering on the '83 "Cardiac Pack" team at North Carolina State as they won the national championship under coach Jim Valvano.  And on the twenty-fifth anniversary of that game, I paid a visit to Valvano's grave to leave flowers.  In high school I thrilled to watching Duke win back to back national titles after so many tries by Mike Krzyzewski (hey, I finally spelled his name right!!).  One of these days maybe I'll get to see my alma mater Elon University go to "the Big Dance".  And then everyone will be asking "Elon?  Where's THAT?" just like we did with Gonzaga.

One person who knows basketball... and I mean REALLY knows it... is my lifelong best friend Chad Austin.  He's been finding some good stuff lately and sharing it on Facebook and I thought it was worth passing along to all two of this blog's regular readers.  The first is an article from the News & Observer about this being Krzyzewski's final season as Duke's coach, and his relationship with legendary UNC coach Dean Smith.  Some may want to have a tissue handy.

Then today Chad posted this article about Griff Aldrich, the head coach at Longwood University.  Aldrich is 47 and made a drastic career change mid-stream, from a job paying $800,000 a year to being the coach of a small school's men's basketball program.  The Longwood Lancers tip off against Tennessee during tomorrow's opening round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  Aldrich's story is nothing short of inspirational.  It certainly is to me.

And finally, Chad turned in an article of his very own for the North Carolina Baptists website: about "Bones" McKinney, the legendary coach at Wake Forest University.  McKinney had a dual career as basketball coach and also Baptist minister.  Chad interviewed a lot of people, including basketball broadcasting giant Billy Packer, to get the story about McKinney and the impact he made on the court and in the pulpit.  It's a terrific piece and this one also, is quite inspiring.


Thanks for finding this stuff Chad.  Thanks to you I now have a school to root for this tourney: GO LONGWOOD!!