posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 10:25 AM
I've been thinking about this incident for over a week, now and have contemplated long and hard about whether or not to share it. Now you know what I
I was at a meeting in the northern part of the state last week. Before the meeting started, there was just me and one other guy in the conference
room and the small talk gravitated to the new coaching hire. We agreed that Knight's leaving was a sad day, indeed, and he had a very personal reason
for thinking so.
This is the story as it was related to me-
This gentleman had three daughters that had cancer. One of them eventually passed away. When she was in the hospital, one of the nurses had a son
that was an "assistant manager" on the IU basketball team. He had some "issues" and Knight took him under his wing and was providing some help and
guidance. Knight found out from the assistant about the girl in the hospital. Knight called the family, flew them down to Bloomington and had a car
meet them to come watch a practice.
My contact told me that Knight was every bit as intimidating in the practice as you would imagine. He told me he was scared to even approach Knight
to thank him after the practice for fear of the reaction. But, he said Knight came over to them and it was like a switch going off. He was as
compassionate, kind, and caring a person as you could ever hope to meet. Knight talked to them for well over an hour about their daughters and how
things were going. He offered to do anything for them he could and asked if they needed any money. As he told me this story, the tears were welling
up in his eyes. I was a little choked up, myself. Knight flew them down for several games that year and always took the time to personally find out
how they were doing and to see if there was anything else he could do for them.
Anyone who travels around Indiana and talks to people will eventually encounter any number of stories like this. This just happens to be the latest
one I've heard. I, personally, have heard dozens like this. And Knight never wanted anything like this made public throught the media. Naturally,
the people who were recipients of his good will have always honored that request.
So this, to a great extent, is why there still is, and will always be, a large contingent of people in this state who will remain loyal to Knight and
what he stands for. We are more than willing to overlook the childish media outbursts because we know that there is much more to the man than just
his basketball coaching legacy.
Kelvin Sampson cannot possibly have a realistic idea about the shoes he's going to try to fill. And I'm not referring to Mike Davis. I sure don't
think Rick Greenspan [the AD] has a clue.