#Hero December 17

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This week I listened to Jim Collins talk about the author John McPhee on a podcast. John McPhee wrote a book called “A Sense of Where You Are” in 1965 about my childhood HERO.

I grew up in Morristown, New Jersey and at age 11 I found my HERO. He was only ten years older than me and he wasn’t from NJ but became synonymous with the Garden State. My HERO was Bill Bradley.

Bill Bradley played college basketball in New Jersey at Princeton University (1961-1965). I discovered basketball during Bradley sophomore year of college. I was nine playing in a league at the Neighborhood House on Flagler St. trying to get the ball to the rim and Bill Bradley was leading the country in scoring just down US 202/206 from my hometown.

Neighborhood House 12 Flagler St. Morristown NJ

One of the most vivid childhood sports memories is my dad granting me permission to stay up late to watch a college basketball game. I got to watch Michigan’s Cazzie Russell and Princeton’s Bill Bradley play on December 30, 1964 on TV. Michigan won that game and defeated Princeton again in the 1965 Final Four. Back in 1965 there was a consolation game and Bill Bradley scored 58 points in that contest.

In 1965 Bill Bradley turned down the NBA to pursue a graduate degree as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. He would join the NY Knicks in 1967 and win two NBA Championships furthering cementing his legacy as my hero.

After his NBA career he was elected as US Senator in New Jersey. He served from 1979 to 1997. He ran for President in 2000.

In 2009 while I was serving as Director of Athletics I got to meet my HERO. Senator Bradley spoke at UNC Pembroke. I even got him to autograph a photo I cherish.

Today to the best I can tell Senator Bill Bradley is involved with a company named Allen & Company. The company is known for its avoidance of public publicity.

He also does a weekly radio show called American Voices where he profiles people he has met over the past 40 years who he considers HEROS.

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  1. […] #Hero December 17 […]

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