It is a challenge for me to put into words how thankful I am for my four years in New Canaan. I coached great kids, I worked with great people, and I watched one class of boys grow from being timid freshmen to becoming young men. Just that–aiding in the maturation process of young people–is why my staff and I coach.
“I’m from New Canaan,” I’ve told many kids over the years, “but where I’m from they call it Weston.” It is a common misconception that kids from these backgrounds, who sometimes have more than most, are immune to the problems of the world. In fact, they are exposed to far more complex issues and at far too young of an age. For this, I will remember most vividly not the moments that required a backdoor cut or three-pointer, but instead the one-on-one talks with players in my office, the communication I maintain with alumni, and some of the parents that truly understood what it meant for their son to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
The processes within sports both reveal and develop strong character in young boys and girls. Daring to try out, the value of getting cut, the grit of what it takes to get better and actually earning playing time are components of the larger process that must be preserved for the sanctity of youth and high school athletics and for the life lessons they offer.
Basketball will continue to grow in town. There are more basketball-first kids here than when my staff and I took over. I am grateful for the opportunity to have brought New Canaan out of what were very dark days on the hard court. I made great friends along the way, was enabled to do charitable work both here and abroad, and I look forward to staying in touch with all the boys and young men who let me coach them sincerely.
Thank you, New Canaan community.