I have had the privilege to be the announcer for several high school teams. I love announcing. It allows me to enjoy my original college degree in broadcast journalism. Back in the day, I sometimes dreamed of being an announcer for the Chicago Bulls or Chicago White Sox. Somehow, these high school announcing gigs allow me to hold on to that dream.
This year’s basketball season was the final one for our coach Scott Miller. I have only known Coach Miller for about 2 years. He has been coaching for over 20 here at our high school and over 30 years in total. When you don’t know a coach that well, we tend to judge them on their stats. Wins and losses. Championships. Hall of Fame awards… which Coach Miller was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame this year. I can tell you that I don’t have those stats and records on Coach Miller. I don’t need them to know the kind of coach he is.
Two moments proved Coach Miller is incredible.
During one game this year, the gym was electric. There was an energy in the building. I noticed a large amount of taller men who looked to between the ages of 25 and 35 in the gym. I found out why they were there at halftime when the Hall of Fame induction celebration for Coach Miller was happening. These young men were all there to celebrate with Coach Miller. They were past players of his. I didn't count how many but there were at least three rows of men who filled the entire baseline of the court. It was a special moment. Men with families. Men with their kids. Men who were leaders. It was proof of Coach Miller’s positive effects on his players. It was a testament to his values and beliefs. It was a testament to his success guiding boys to become men.
The second thing I witnessed had me tear up a bit. It was the final home game of the season making it Senior night. Coach Miller’s last game on his home court. It was during the Junior Varsity game when this touching moment occurred. There was a timeout on the court. I am also the DJ who plays music during the down times of the game. I love this part of the job. I actually was a radio DJ back in the 90s so it was right up my ally. I threw on an instrumental version of Biggie Smalls hit Hypnotize. I heard some laughing in the stands over my right shoulder. I turned to look in curiosity. I first saw the varsity team dancing and laughing in the stands. I have never seen a team look so happy together. The boys were laughing and bumping to the beat of the song. As my eyes trailed down to the rows below the team, I saw Coach Miller. He was watching his team enjoy themselves. The look on his face said it all. He had a huge smile on his face. He was enjoying the moment. From my point of view, I saw a coach expressing an entire successful career in one moment. I saw satisfaction in a job well done. I saw a leader being in the moment. I saw a coach knowing his teams will never forget the great times they had on and off the court. I saw a coach understand that this game is more about wins and losses... it is about learning and forming boys into successful strong men.
This is how I know Coach Miller’s career was successful. This is how I know he changed his players lives for the better for over 30 years. No stats. No wins and losses. No trophies. Just past and present teams showing up and being there for each other.
Congratulations Coach Scott Miller on an amazing run as a basketball coach, mentor, and motivator of men. Every player is lucky to have you as a coach.
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