To realise a sporting dream
Posted: December 2nd, 2010
In 2005, myself and 15 coaches from Australia traveled on a study tour to the USA, Turkey and China, visiting many wonderful coaches and universities along the way. We met Coach Fran O’Hanlon, Coach Jay Wright, The late Coach Skip Prosser, Coach Roy Williams, Coach Phil Martelli, Coach Fran Dunphy, Coach Bruiser Flint Coach Gail Goestenkors and of course Coach K.
Being a Duke fan from as far back when Gene “Tinkerbell” Banks played at Durham, I was so excited to be going to see Duke. When I landed at Raleigh – Durham Airport, it was a warm sunny morning and I felt that I had been there before but of course had not. When we entered the Duke Campus, I was taking my time walking up from the lower car parking area and some one asked if I was ok, I said to them, I am about to realize my sporting dream as being so far away in Australia, I never thought I would visit Duke, let alone watch a practice session in Cameron Indoor Center.
We spent a week watching the Duke teams practice and got to meet the staff and of course our mentor for the group was a 20 year friend of Coach K and he had arranged for us to meet him and the staff including Gerry Brown and all of the staff in the Duke Basketball office.
Coach K was speaking to us and he mentioned that there was a particular person who had been a fan for longer than he had been at Duke, well he called me up and nearly s… myself. I got to shake hands and meet a coach that I have watched through the good and lean times at Duke and have followed his coaching philosophy from Coach Knight, through to Coach K’s present team ( 2010 ).
He was a great person and really made us all feel welcome, we watched the Blue / White Scrimmage and I then realized, I had lived my sporting dream, I watched a Duke team at Cameron Indoor and had met Coach K.
Just recently I had the opportunity to meet Coach Johnny Dawkins in Germany this summer and mentioned my visit, obviously he did not remember details, but he was as nice and friendly and I will now also follow Stanford while he is there….
I will never forget my visit to Duke and meeting the staff and Coach K, it was a gift.
Alan Mc ( Melbourne, Australia )