• Thanks for saving my sister

    Posted: November 16th, 2011

    I would like to congratulate Coach K on his becoming the Division I most winningest coach. Way to go.

    However, he is the most winningest coach in my families eyes for another reason. My sister was discovered to have a rather rare brain tumor in Oct. Her son-in-law, Jimmy Dykes, was at Duke and mentioned in front of Coach K that this was found and the prognosis was not good and we were told removal was not an option. I don’t know the whole story, but Coach K took it upon himself to contact “his buddy” Neurosurgeon Alan Friedman. He took a look at my sister’s case and was sure he could give us a better outcome. Things rolled pretty quickly after that. My sister, Robbie Prine, was contacted by neuro-oncologist Dr. Henry Friedman and it was set up for her to come to Duke. They were sure they could remove it. Long story short, these two brilliant men took excellent care of my sister and the tumor was resected “brilliantly” in the words of Dr. Henry Friedman, no chemo or radiation needed, and she is on the road to healing. She is traveling home today as I type this.

    So, I’m thrilled he is so successful in his chosen career at Duke, but I am honored and humbled that a man of his stature would take the time to not just hear a story and forget about it, but to jump in and act – and in the opinion of everyone in my family – save her life by getting the ball rolling in the right direction.

    This is not to belittle the work of the surgeons/staff/and everyone else involved in her care, but without Coach K making that initial important contact, none of this would have played out.

    We will forever be indebted to him even though he doesn’t know who we are – we know him. He is dear to us all. Our Christmas list has grown significantly after this ordeal and Coach K is tops on the list with Drs. Alan and Henry Friedman right along side.

    Again, Thank you, Thank you Coach K and may God bless you and all you hold dear.
    You have given us the best Thanksgiving gift one can receive – our sister – healthy and tumor-free.

    Forever in your debt,

    Rachel Babb


Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication. Communication does not always occur naturally, and must be taught and practiced in order to bring everyone together as one. The most crucial element of communicating is telling the truth.

- Coach K

Adversity can teach you more about yourself than any success, and overcoming an obstacle can sometimes feel even better than achieving an easy victory. Through adversity, you can discover things about your endurance, your ability to turn a negative into a positive, and your personal strength of heart.

- Coach K

When you care about someone or something, you show genuine concern for that person or thing, in good times or bad. When you care about one another and about your purpose, you are compelled to put your feelings into action. Care creates an atmosphere that breeds success and gives you the confidence to try again.

- Coach K

Take care not to allow one aspect of your life to so consume you that you neglect the others. Balance can put things in perspective, can bring you joy even when you are down, and can allow you to be at your best in all aspects of your life.

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When you are winning, your commitment is never challenged. But loyalty and dedication during difficult times can be tough. When commitment doesn’t waver, that’s when you have the greatest chance of winning. You can never give up.

- Coach K

Belief can mean the difference between a fear of failure and the courage to try. On a team or in a family, belief makes each individual stronger and also fortifies the group as a whole. The basis of belief is in individual relationships.

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No matter how successful you believe yourself to be, you can never feel as if you’ve reached the absolute pinnacle. There are always new and wonderful challenges out there, and part of maintaining success is knowing when you need to accept them.

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You have to adapt what you do based on who you are. In teaching, you must remember that no group or individual is the same as who you taught the day before, the year before, or the decade before. Your plan has to suit who you and your team are right now.

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You can possess countless good qualities as an individual, but if you don”t have the courage to proceed, you may never see those qualities come into fruition. It takes courage to put what you believe to be best of you on the line, to test it, and to see how far it takes you. Courage means daring to do what you imagine.

- Coach K
Collective Responsibility

We win and we lose together. Handling the responsibility for wins and losses together removes the burden from one individual’s shoulders and distributes it among each member of the team. That atmosphere is conducive to high-level performance and places you and your team in the position to be bold and unafraid, and if you should lose, you are not alone.

- Coach K
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