Like any college basketball fan, I hate the Duke Blue Devils. It has to do with their smug attitude, constant coverage on ESPN, and some of the real tools that have worn the Duke jersey. With that being said, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Blue Devils’ head coach Mike Krzyzewski. He is a great example of the American Dream and in my mind, the best college basketball coach we’ve ever seen.
It wasn’t like Coach K came from a privileged background. He grew up in a blue collar Chicago neighborhood and played basketball with reckless abandon at the now-defunct Weber High School before making it to West Point and playing for Bobby Knight. He eventually worked his way onto the coaching staff with the Indiana Hoosier, and moved onto West Point as the head coach before landing at Duke.
Both the school and coach haven’t looked back since. Let’s not forget Coach K’s contributions to USA Basketball. While he obviously gets the talent, he gets a group of superstars to perform together for the good of themselves and country – a very respectable task.
This season, like almost every season, Duke is near the top in the rankings and can smell another trip to the NCAA Final Four. At 65-years old, there’s no slowing down Coach K and his dominating coaching run. His latest score was landing the nation’s top player in Jabari Parker from Chicago. As a parent, if Coach K visited my home, I’d have a hard time saying no as well. He stands for what is great in our country.
Whether or not you love or hate Duke, it is hard to argue with how much Coach K has meant to basketball. When he finally closes the book on his career, his impact will be remembered for years to come.