Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Organizational Grit May Also Be The Secret To Basketball Greatness!

I have accumulated some great memories as a Duke basketball fan of 22 years, nearly all via television, including the Hill pass to Laettner whose shot beat Kentucky in overtime or Sean Dockery’s unbelievable shot at the buzzer to beat Virginia Tech to cite two of many.

But the most memorable, experienced in person, is the night I was standing just off the corner of the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium and feeling the sound wave concussions as Jeff Capel hit a running 40’ shot to send a 1995 game with UNC-Chapel Hill into the second of several overtimes.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski was out that year due to severe back problems and Duke was down, winless in the ACC and Carolina was ranked #2 in the nation at the time.

That shot and that entire season took “grit.”

I don’t know whether Capel should have been fired as the Oklahoma coach yesterday after two straight losing seasons after three winning seasons including making the elite eight in the big dance.

But I do know that, if those two losing seasons were the criteria as intimated in the story linked above, then Oklahoma and a lot of other schools would have fired Hall of Fame Coach K when he had two consecutive losing seasons in his first three at Duke.

I also know that any grit with which I was credited during a two-decade run at the helm of DCVB before I retired in 2009 was bolstered by the grit shown by both the Durham community and its destination marketing organization by standing behind me through thick and thin.

In the face of adversity, grit is proven as the key ingredient to personal success as noted in this link, but it is just as important for the organization to have grit as Duke’s retired athletic director Tom Butters showed through Coach K’s losing seasons.

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