All coaches aim to impart life lessons on those that play for them, and it usually isn't until those players move on to go to college, get married, and have kids of their own before they're able to see or hear about how what they learned from coaches as players has made them into the men (or women) that they grow into.
Every once in a while a coach will hear from a player who reaches out privately to talk about the impact on their life that they had. Those conversations, texts, or emails are truly special, and touching moments in the life cycle of a coach.
Well one of those moments took place in the public eye in front of reporters recently. After Eufaula HS lost by one point in the Alabama boy's basketball state title game, senior Terrell Jones (who fouled out in the fourth quarter after scoring 20 points) shared some unfiltered thoughts on his head coach that moved many in the room to tears, and what he has to say has since gone viral.
"Since day one, I can remember the first time coach Smith came into the gym he said, 'If you want to be a state champion, you've got to be different. Everybody can't be a state champion."
"I'll never forget a word that man said to me. Each and every second that wound down, I was just thinking - 'I've got to be different, I got to seperate myself. I got to seperate myself to show that I'm different, because I wanted to be a state champion."
After Jones finishes his talk, the camera pans to coach Smith, who is beaming with pride, and fighting back tears. Really a special moment for coach Smith, and a great reminder to coaches everywhere of the impact that we have on the kids that we work with.
Take a look at the full clip below.
In his final high school basketball game, Terrell Jones (@itstkadee) scored 20 pts. and fouled out late in the 4th. Eufaula lost the state championship by one point, but this kid left it all out on the court. Not a dry eye in the room after what he said at the podium. @EufaulaCSpic.twitter.com/KRfg3UML2X
— Rocco DiSangro (@RDiSangro_WTVY) March 3, 2018