Friday, September 12, 2008

Don Haskins

As you all (or many of you know) Don Haskins died last Sunday at the age of 78. I just wanted a post to sort of commemerate his legacy and also to talk about the time that I met him.

It was at Barnes&Noble Booksellers on Sundland Park dr. I'd stood in line for more than an hour to see if I could get an autographed copy of Glory Road. When I got to his table I could sense being in the presence of greatness. There was just something about him, in his eyes that seemed as if he saw right through me. It might have been that I just saw him through biased eyes but I also saw the age in his face. I shook his hand and he held me in a firm grip. I told him that I'd be going to UTEP in a couple of years (this all happened before I came here after Glory Road was released). He said he was glad to meet a future Miner. He signed my copy, and the next person in line pushed me out of her way.

That was the only time I ever met him. I wasn't alive during the famous 1966 championchip, and I'd only seen a few of the Miner basketball games that he'd coached before he retired. I'll never forget my very breif meeting with the man who was El Paso's favorite son. But his death doesn't mean he's gone. I still have the autographed copy of Glory Road and I also have the DVD. All I have to do to feel like I've met him all over again is to watch the video. I don't touch the book though because I want to keep it in a sort of new condition.

My heart goes out to the family of the Bear. May you rest in peace coach.

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