30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hoops 4 Rescue

If money were not an issue, I would start a sports ministry with an heavy emphasis on basketball starting out, but maybe even baseball.

What I would like to do is go to inner cities or other poorer places and put on "free" basketball clinics for one day or multiple days.

I would have volunteers work, and I would make sure that each child got a t-shirt and maybe a basketball.

My goal would be to find a corporate sponsor who would donate up to $2,000 to make the camp free for the children involved.

That total would be hopefully no more than $500.

The other $1,500 would be donated to a human/sex trafficking group and that total is what it costs to free one person from that horrendous way of life. We would base the camp on Proverbs 24:11 "Rescue those being taken off to death, and save those stumbling toward slaughter".

It would:
1. Give back to communities who may not be able to afford a basketball camp.
2. Each child would leave with a shirt and a ball with the logo of the sports ministry and the corporate sponsors ad along with which trafficking organization we would donate to.
3. Corporations in the area would have a tax write off as well as good will in an area they may not always have it.
4. We would spread the Gospel, as it would be well known that we are not just a character organization, but a Christ centered.

And Volleyball...and Cheer...and....

Friday, March 17, 2017

Thanks Coach Crean, I Wish You Well

Yesterday, as news of Coach Tom Crean being removed as the Indiana University basketball coach, many emotions went through my mind.

First, and foremost was remorse.

Remorse that it had gotten to this point in his relationship with the university and worse yet, the fan base.

Remorse for him.

Remorse for his family.

And remorse in that I may not be able to see and speak to him as often.

Tom Crean, forget the coach part, is a very good man.

A good man who used his spotlight to help a student whose car was stuck in a snow bank; who allowed me to take a high school student who is an IU fan and going blind to attend a game; who contacted me after the tornado that destroyed the school I taught at; who contacted numerous people dealing with traumatic events; who befriended many people who were sick and dying; and who believed that his job was much bigger than coaching basketball.

He is a man who I could start typing about the great things I know he did and what I heard he did and wouldn't end anytime soon.

The remorse I feel is for a man who was fired (never an easy thing to deal with) and his family who wants to be supportive, but may not be able to help other than to vent anger.

Sure, the amount of money he has been paid over the last nine years will soften the blow, but it still hurts and I hate that for him.

But I also realized that this meant a new beginning for both IU basketball and Coach Crean. An unfortunate separation that, in all honesty, needed to happen for all parties involved.

And often times a new beginning is the best thing that can happen to us. Whether they be voluntary or forced upon us a new page, a new view can refresh us.

Coach Crean will land on his feet and probably score a "10" in doing so.

His personality, contacts, knowledge, charisma, empathy, sympathy, and experience are just a few things that will land him where he desires eventually. He understands his purpose in coaching this silly game of basketball

IU basketball may be better off or worse with this separating of the ways, that is yet to be seen, but Coach Crean will be better off either soon or eventually. He can't not be because of the type of human being he is.

Finally, I just want to say "thank you" to Coach Crean. The program he inherited was awful, just awful and through his sheer will and the help of his assistants like Tim Buckley, they were able to bring IU back to national prominence even if irregularly.

For that IU fans owe him a huge, huge show of appreciation.

I will miss Coach Crean because I am a fan, but I will miss Tom Crean even more. Tom Crean touched more people in a positive way often out of sight than can be written in one small blog entry.

I just hope that he ends up somewhere close, or somewhere that I visit regularly so that I may stay in touch with Tom Crean and still watch his practices and know that he's still making a positive impact both on and off the basketball court.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Under the Radar No More

(picture from News and Tribune Sports)
A couple years ago, I wrote an article about a friend of mine at a local high school you can find it HERE.

Coach Jon May at New Washington H.S. hadn't had the kind of success that he deserved compared to the amount of time that he and his staff had put in. I mean, they scout you to the point your guys can't take a step without them calling it out.

Nothing against NW, but the talent level hadn't been to a competitive level for their class during his tenure and even the two previous coaches. I had heard some negatives (they exist when you coach) about him and some wondering out loud if they should go in a different direction which motivated me to write that article. It appeared in our local paper as I was writing weekly for them at the time.

My biggest argument was when he had talent that was equitable, he would show what he could really do.

And man oh man has he done that.

This group of seniors that he has playing for him this year have won their first sectional and regional titles in sixteen years. To watch them play is truly watching an extension of the coaching staff and Coach May.

All of the things he has taught them, they are believing, doing and executing. There is no perceived issue among any of the players or between the players and staff. He has his team currently playing in a way where he can sit and enjoy because they are playing at a high level. He has done all of the hard work, they have listened, and they are executing.

This weekend they play in the semi-state, one game from the state finals and whether they win or not will not change my opinion about Coach May.

I said it before and I will say it now.

I would have zero hesitation allowing my children to play for him because he knows what he is doing basketball wise and because he is a class act human being.

Jim Matthews used to say that winning championships justifies what you're doing as a coach and Coach May has finally gotten that justification.

The great thing is that he didn't need them to justify anything, and despite overwhelming support from many in his hometown, maybe now some of the naysayers will realize how lucky they are to have him representing their town and school.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It's Our Fault; Parents That Is

As parents in the 21st century, have we become enablers of our children?

I think this is something that has gone on for a long time because I can remember instances when I was younger in the early 1980s and maybe even earlier, but has it gotten worse?

We see and read about the "snowflake" generation and wonder where our country is headed, but shouldn't we look backwards? Whose fault is it that we are witnessing this behavior?

As a coach/teacher I have seen many situations of enabling. I've seen many situations that I have been attacked for pointing out the situation by a parent because they believe (or refuse to see) that their child may not be perfect and I ended up being right in the future. I have yet to receive an apology from some of these parents, but it is what it is.

Before I was a parent, I could not understand where these people were coming from, now with children, I do understand it.

We don't want our children to endure hardships.

Yet, isn't that the way we've all learned? Isn't it actually the best way to learn?

I get it though.

I have watched as my child has been disciplined by coaches, treated in ways that I think unfairly compared to the other players and I go into defensive mode.

It is then that I try to remember all of the experiences I have seen or been involved in as a coach/parent or my wife sets me straight.

It is good for my son and daughter to endure "hardships" (I mean they aren't starving, homeless, or unclothed, or unloved) when they are younger because they will face them as adults. More serious than anything they will see as children. And we are not talking about the kind of hardships that will mentally challenge them forever and, really, who cares if it does? It is isn't any type of abuse.

And that's why we sit where we do today with an ever growing group of spoiled children/young adults.

They can't handle someone who disagrees with them so they shut down, or worse yet, attempt to shut down the person they disagree with. If disagreement cannot be stopped, we give law students coloring books, safe spaces and excuses for their behavior which enables it further.

I'm not just pointing this out about society today in general, I, specifically, have caught myself doing it to my children and I worry I am not preparing them for real life.

How tough will they be?

Will they cower because someone disagrees with them?

Will they fight for what they believe in?

Or will I have spoiled them so much that they will march in the streets for the perceived lack of rights (we can always do better) in a country that is the 1% when dealing with freedoms and monetary success?

I hope not.

And I will continue to examine my actions and what I shelter them from...

But it ain't easy; not by a long shot.

Monday, March 13, 2017

You Can Help Me on My Mission Trip to Kenya (and a tax write off for you)

I have a mission account that I started every pay period. Money comes out and withdraws immediately into that account. Any extra money goes there also.

I'm headed to Kenya this summer and I have already paid for over 3/4 of it from my own money which will end up being a tax write off for this year.

If you'd like to help me go with Athletes in Action this summer, you can go to CLICK HERE by entering my account number 5634026 in the "Give A Gift" box. The money you donate will be tax deductible for you.

Sports ministry is something I love to do and would appreciate any help I can get.

I really do appreciate your consideration and if not financially, I would appreciate your prayers and good thoughts.

To Forgive or Not To Forgive

If you are a believer of Jesus, then you consider yourself a Christian.

By doing so, you have to believe that Jesus was God, came to earth and was crucified for our transgressions.

You believe that Jesus died for your sins.

You believe that Jesus died for our sins.

You believe that Jesus died for all of our sins.

He died for our lies.

Our thefts.

Our murders.

Our gossip.

Our bad thoughts.

For those who have done heinous crimes like genocide, molestation, rape, and ever other single evil and most vile sins.

Just repent.

You must ask for forgiveness and it will be done.

Then how can we not show that same grace, that same forgiveness (not acceptance or even regaining a friendship) or much smaller transgressions done to us?

We can't not.

We must forgive.

If not, we are struggling in living the life that Jesus did.

And that's what we're striving for.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Proverbs 24:11

"Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter."

I'm pro-life.

From conception to death, I'm pro-life.

It isn't always easy, but standing for something usually isn't.

I could pick an anti-abortion, pro-adoption, pro-refugee idea to fight for.

I could minister to those in prisons, I could minister to those drug addicted.

But human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking of youth, is where I take my stand.

Children are the most pure form of victims in this world. Most adults are where they are because of decisions they've made and possibly it is because of terrible childhoods, but a child's circumstance is more than always is because of an adult.

And what's the worst thing that can be done to a child?

Being led into sex trafficking.

Where children are raped up to 30 times a day to help pay the bills at home or they have been bought and are now making money for the person who bought them.

Men, overwhelmingly, are the ones who perpetrate this sick business, so I feel both a responsibility to help save children and to educate men.

Men, stop having sex with children! If you do that, the sex trafficking industry disappears.

Please consider giving, volunteering, or fighting for children though The Exodus Road, Destiny Rescue, A21 and many other groups fighting this scourge.

I'm constantly looking for ways I can help to make a difference with this evil, vile thing and I challenge you to do so also.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

That One Time When Pete Rose Met Perry Hunter

Last night, March 8, a date which will live forever in my mind...

This summer, I am going to Kenya with Athletes in Action. The director of the trip, James Bolin, wanted to meet up and get to know each other before we went on a two week trip to Africa. Through texting, I came up with a place sort of in the middle of where I live and Xenia, OH where he lives.

I picked a Cracker Barrel at exit 182, off I-71/75.

I got there early and James had beaten me there and I didn't have to walk him through how to get to where we were meeting, two huge pluses (look, I'm 47, set in my ways, but much more patient than in the past, but we hit it off well immediately).

About 45 minutes into our meeting, I was talking and I had to double was Pete this Cracker Florence, Kentucky.

You know Pete Rose...

Pete Rose the all-time hit king.

Pete Rose, my all-time favorite player.

Pete Rose, the guy I tried to model how I played any sport ever.

Pete freaking Rose, the guy who just transformed 47 year old Perry into 9 year old Perry.

To say that the meeting with James kind of deteriorated from there would be a nice way of putting it. I couldn't focus on what he was saying, I don't think I could feel my legs, and I tried hard not to stare at Charlie Hustle.

I mean, Pete Rose is why I sprinted out walks, he is why I slid head first, he's why I took out shortstops breaking up double plays, I love, loved how he played.

As I watched how people interacted with him, and more importantly, how he interacted with the people there, it didn't make me feel overly confident to speak to him, but I had to speak to him, I just had to. But if he were mean to me (little kid thinking there), it could ruin my entire childhood.

First a guy took a picture from the side, and Pete did not like that at all. The second guy walked up to him and he barely acknowledged him. I'm not trying to take up for Pete, but it could get old if people don't treat you like a person.

But I still had to say something.

I've found that when you talk to famous people, if you talk to them as a person and you bring up something that is a little different from what they usually hear, they seem to be more receptive. Or maybe I just come off as a dolt and they feel sorry for me, but here's how it went.

I walked up and he had his head down, I said "Mr. Rose, I can't pass up this opportunity, but I wanted you to know that for my entire baseball playing career, I sprinted out walks" (Pete was famous for this, drawing a walk and sprinting to first). As I was saying this, he looked up and actually gave a little laugh. I finished with this "and when people asked me why I did that, I said because Pete Rose did". And with that, he kind of laughed and said "That's nice".

Childhood made!

I gave a little awkward wave, turned around and left.

James told me it must have gone well because he could see that he smiled and laughed.

As we were checking out, a woman put her hand on my shoulder and said "That was very nice what you said to him" which reinforced that I thought it went well.

Now little kid Perry thinks that he will remember me...who knows, but it was nice to feel like a little kid again if even for a little while.

No, I didn't get or ask for a picture or an autograph, I didn't want to be like every other person that approaches him, so I did what any respectful fan would do; I took a stalker photo without him knowing.

And for you people who for some ungodly reason don't know who Pete Rose this:

Click to the right: Pete Rose: Shoot to Thrill

Monday, March 6, 2017

Just Be My Maddie Girl Forever? Please

My daughter is growing up and I don't like it.

She's gone from the little girl who wanted to be with me or around me, to the growing up young woman who is so busy that I often feel like an after thought.

Maybe I've done that to her, but she means the world to me.

Recently, she went on her first group "date" where she went bowling with a group of girls and guys.

It was innocent, but I didn't like all.

It was one of those moments when you realize that your little girl isn't that little anymore and she doesn't always need dad around.

Like when she started to fix her hair.

Like when she started to wear a little make up.

Like when she started to notice boys.

It's hard to take.

It's hard to see her grow up and know that I can't control her every move or every emotion.

It's hard to watch her not need as much.

And know that dad isn't #1 all the time anymore.

To Maddie

I've probably done this before, but wanted to make sure.


You can be anything you want to be in this world, but as your Papaw Hunter used to say; you have to be willing to give something up for it.

You can't have it all, you will have to give up something to do what you want.

Find your purpose and no matter what you do in this life, it will become your passion.

Never, ever let a man treat you badly, if he hits you...leave.

It is okay to play second fiddle to your husband, to respect him and to be there when he needs you.

It is okay for your husband to play second fiddle to you, respect you and to be there when you need him.

Don't let culture or society tell you what you have to believe.

Be willing to stand up for those less fortunate than yourself.

Give of yourself...and expect it, you will be hurt if you do, but do it anyway.

Never give up...unless he hits you, then move on.

Never, ever doubt if I love you because your mother and I do more than you will ever know, or at least until you have children.

Just a few pieces of advice...follow this and you will be fine.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I'm Uninformed, but Here's What I Know (Think)

One of the hardest things that I have learned in any position of leadership is to relax.

Sure, relaxing in all ways, but especially when dealing with "problems".

Often the first thing that you hear in any given situation is not the whole story yet we tend to jump to conclusions.

In today's world of social media, people see or hear something, go straight to vent online without knowledge of the entire story, but they want to "get to the bottom of it", not understanding or caring about the damage they may do to people.

This then allows for people to make uninformed comments about an uninformed opinion which can lead to spiraling. Of course, when the truth or the entire story comes out, it is often not as announced as the misinformation or uninformed information was announced.

It is amazing how many times I have seen people who are in positions of leadership jump to conclusions before they know the whole story. And I am talking about people who have had this done to them so many times in the past you would think they wouldn't knee jerk in the same way.

But I've done this myself and when I have found that I was wrong, I've been embarrassed that I have done something that I know better than to do.

When possible, I've apologized.

When not, I've just tried to act like it never happened and hopefully it will go away.

Which is fine unless there's collateral damage done and then I'm guilty of something I wish I hadn't done.

But I'm trying and I know that I am wrong when doing this which is different from some.