KEYS TO THE GYM
The gym floor appeared to have a golden glaze over it. If only I could touch it, I thought. It would be magical just to set foot upon it. I often dreamed about playing basketball, like all the high-school players, on that beautiful gym floor when I got old enough.
Those thoughts ran through my mind every time my mom and dad took me to see the Trigg County Wildcats play basketball in Trigg County’s High-School gymnasium in the mid 1960s. I would sit up in the stands and just gaze, sometimes even stare at that marvelous piece of realty known as the basketball court. I watched my childhood heroes and all the local legends on Tuesday and Friday nights throughout the cold Kentucky winters of the 1960s.
Little did I know that I would spend a huge portion of my teenage years and adult life on that very gym floor. It ended up being the site of some of my greatest triumphs and most crushing defeats. Not only did I spend countless hours on the gym floor, I also ended up with the “KEYS TO THE GYM.”
The following pages will detail many of the experiences I have had as head basketball coach in smalltown Kentucky, where basketball is king. Some of the most colorful characters you could ever hope to meet and some you wouldn’t want to meet even in your dreams will come alive in these pages. You will follow the rise and fall and rise again of my coaching career. As the stories in this book unfold, you will travel with me on my rise toward the top of my profession and even quicker descent to the bottom. You will get a feel as to what it is like to be in one of the most rewarding yet at the same time cruel professions in the world. I am speaking of being a Kentucky high school basketball coach.
All in all, this book will take you on an interesting and fascinating ride down Kentucky back roads from gym to gym with team after team. This book will take you form Clinton, Kentucky, in Hickman, to Feds Creek in Pikeville, Kentucky. You will experience the constant roller coaster of emotions that a Kentucky high school basketball coach experiences.
This book is about a dream, yet about reality. It is about drive, determination and sacrifice. It is about love. It is about having the KEYS TO THE GYM.
Enthusiasm Makes the Difference
Mike Wright is the head coach of boys basketball and cross country at Trigg County High School. Emails concerning Coach’s Corner can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.