Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Don't Be a Swine

With college basketball practices underway and the NBA season starting, it seems like the H1N1 virus (the virus that causes Swine Flu) has been in the sports news as often as a box score.

The flu has hit lots of teams already, including Tom Izzo's Michigan State Spartans , the
Washington Huskies , and even Lebron and Company .
Face it - in the US, basketball (H.S., college, and NBA) is a Winter sport and the flu usually rears it's ugly (congested) head around this time of year.

In my opinion, every team should have a flu vaccination policy similar to the Gaucho players pictured above. While flu shots have been available for a while now, it's still not too late to talk to your local doctor about getting vaccinated against "regular" seasonal flu as well as against the H1N1 flu this year.

I wrote about the importance of Taking Your Shot this time last year, but the Swine Flu has added a few wrinkles about what to do.

For an update on recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control, click here.

And make sure you cover your mouth when you sneeze.
And wash your hands.
And wash your hands.
And wash your hands again.

Here's hoping that the only time you'll ever think about Swine on the basketball court is when you're playing P-I-G.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

99 + 7 = An Amazing Man

My congratulations and sincere wishes for a very Happy Birthday go out to one of my favorite basketball coaches of all time.

John Wooden turned 99 today.

That in itself is quite a feat, but longevity is not the only thing that sets this fine gentleman apart from the rest of us. And no, it's not his excellence as a player or success as a basketball coach that does it either.

Like my other favorite coach (Dean Smith), John Wooden garners my admiration and appreciation for the way he not only prepared his players for games during basketball season, he also prepared them for life, stressing the importance of being a good person who does good deeds.

When he graduated from grade school, his father handed him a list of 7 principles to help him on his journey through life. I've listed them here for you - take a look.

1) Be true to yourself.
2) Make each day your masterpiece.
3) Help others.
4) Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
5) Make friendship a fine art.
6) Build a shelter against a rainy day.
7) Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

There's a lot you need to learn to become a good basketball player, but there's much more to learn and do to become a good person.

Thank you, Coach Wooden, for showing so many people how to be both.