Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Jim Calhoun is ... poetry?

The New England Basketball Hall of Fame will host an all-day Reunion and Seminar at Springfield College on Saturday. Among those being honored will be Jim Calhoun.

Calhoun will receive our the Hall's first Basketball Genius Award for his unmatched ability to find and recruit young men well under the radar and coach those young men up to greatness.

Rather than present Calhoun with a trophy or medal, he will be presented with a poem written by acclaimed poet Jack Ridl. Here it is:

To Be a Genius
for Jim Calhoun

Any coach can say Yes
to a can’t-miss All-American.
Any coach can say No
to a high school bench warmer.

But a coach who says Maybe . . .
That can take a certain genius—

a coach who’s not sure, yet watches,
sees something, who thinks “If.”

“If I, if the kid, if I teach,
if he listens. If the kid
does the work, if he opens
his heart. If the kid stops going left

80 percent of the time, boxes out,
takes a charge, waits and waits
for his chance. If I can stick
with him. If he stays with me.

If I know what to say when he’s
ready to quit, if I know when
to say “it”—what he needs to hear.

If he believes I believe he can
get where I see him. When
at last he says Yes to what he
knows he must do—again and
again and again and again—then,
maybe then, when he’s hung it
all up, he’ll come back
to the gym, walk in, and say Thanks."



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