The following blog post was taken from its original location, found here
Welcome to “Follow the Wildcats.” This recent basketball season I did my best to keep an accurate journal of the center-city high school basketball team for which I was the first-year head coach. “Follow the Wildcats” is a compilation of many stories, told through the lens of the Wildcats’ lives. Names and identities of people and places have been changed in deference to the people involved. But all of these stories are 100% true. Everything happened. Boy, did it ever.
On Sunday, the day before our first practice, I got a text from Jabari, the guy poised to be my assistant coach:
“Coach, I just got this new job and unfortunately I can’t make it down to Langdon everyday, so I won’t be able to coach this season. Please tell the boys that I am sorry. Good luck.”
At first, and selfishly, I was pissed off at Jabari.
But then I took a step back and looked at the big picture. He had been out of a job for months, yet he still showed up to all of our fall league games. He was totally professional. He even came to the school one day just to visit — and ended up breaking up a big fight among our students.On top of that, he has three kids. He clearly needed this job.
Tomorrow I’d have 20 kids trying out for a Varsity and Junior Varsity basketball team. I needed to find someone as capable as Jabari to help carry the load.
Before bed, I put a feeler out on Facebook, looking for anyone willing to join the Wildcats’ staff at the last minute.
Turns out the best answer I could have looked for was right under my nose.
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NEXT UP: Change, Change, Change
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