C. Vivian Stringer
You’ve already said your farewells to the family.
You’ll miss them, but what you have to do is important. There will be no running the kids to parties this spring. No weekend getaways, no impromptu excursions. Even though this happens ever year, they understand.
You’ve got March Madness. It’s incurable. And it’s incredibly fun.
But your favorite basketball team didn’t get to be the champions they are by themselves, you know. They had a coach who took them all the way to their current ranking. Now, one coach just racked up her 800th win and she’s heading for more. Read about her life and her career in “Standing Tall: A Memoir of Tragedy and Triumph” (c.2008, Crown, $24.95 / $27.95, 291 pages) by C. Vivian Stringer.
Basketball fans don’t have to be reminded about who Coach Stringer is. For the uninitiated, she’s the coach who took three different schools to championship seasons. She made tiny HBCU Cheyney into a basketball fan’s household name. She took Hawkeye women’s basketball to new levels. She pulled the 2006-2007 Rutgers University Scarlet Knights from a badly losing team to an NCAA game-playing season in a matter of months. But those accomplishments aren’t the ones of which Coach is most proud.
C. Vivian Stringer was born in Edenborn, Pennsylvania, the eldest of six children. Stringer’s father was a coal miner, and he made sacrifices for the family, the likes of which Stringer says she wasn’t aware until she was an adult herself. Stringer’s parents told their children that getting an education was not an option, but a requirement in life. They supported their children without fail, including their eldest daughter in her love of sports.
The compass that Stringer got from her parents served her well. After graduation from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, she accepted a position at Cheyney, where she took the team to the top. At the University of Iowa, she coached another women’s basketball team to a championship. She did it again at Rutgers. And she did it all while she endured the illnesses of her daughter, the death of her father and husband, and three hurtful words from a radio talk-show host.
I’ve watched my share of basketball games, but never an NCAA women’s game. Now I’m going to be glued to my TV. Now I’m another fan of Coach Stringer.
“Standing Tall” is a phenomenal book for several reasons: Coach is not afraid to tell stories, both about her triumphs and about her mistakes. Her humility comes shining through; this isn’t a been-there-done-that cocky athlete’s memoir. Stringer talks about herself, yes, but she also makes darn sure that readers know who’s important in her life and in her accomplishments: her family, her God, and her players.
If you’re a basketball fan of any sort, you’re going to want this book next your recliner for the rest of the season. If you’re not a basketball fan, you’ll still want to read this book for the inspiration between the lines. Either way, pick up a copy, because “Standing Tall” is a sure-shot memoir.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Mike D’Antoni to succeed Mike Brown as coach of the team.
D’Antoni, who coached the New York Knicks for the last four seasons and the Phoenix Suns for five seasons before that, agreed to a three-year deal with a team option for a fourth season. The Los Angeles Times put the value of the deal at $12 million.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif.—Former Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings coach Eric Musselman was named today as coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA Development League affiliate.
Musselman, 46, coached the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League to a 34-16 record in the 2010-2011 season, the best in the West Conference.
D-Fenders president Joey Buss said Musselman “will be a great addition to our franchise.”
That’s been your motto since forever because you’ve always loved a good challenge. Somebody put up a barrier, you’ll figure a way around it. If there are roadblocks, you find another path. You can make things happen, you’ve got friends where you need them, and heaven help the person who tells you “no.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A statue of former Los Angeles Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, will be unveiled today outside Staples Center.
Abdul-Jabbar’s teammates with the 1980s “Showtime” Lakers Earvin “Magic” Johnson and James Worthy; the team’s coach, Pat Riley; former Laker player, coach and general manager Jerry West; and team executive Jeanie Buss are scheduled to join Abdul-Jabbar in speaking at the ceremony, which is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes pleaded no contest today to misdemeanor unlicensed driver and resisting arrest charges.
The 32-year-old basketball player—who has signed with the Clippers—was immediately sentenced to two years probation, ordered to complete 30 hours of community service and attend anger management classes for three months, according to the District Attorney's Office.