Coach Carter at BSU: Always Finish Strong
By Katelynn Thys
MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - A coach is supposed to influence his or her team on and off the court. Build them up, but also dish out constructive criticism. Coach Ken Carter refused to allow his undefeated high school basketball team into the gym until their grades improved.
While his community was outraged but Coach Carter wanted his athletes to see being an athlete isn’t the only option in life. His story was then transformed into a movie, with his role being played by Samuel L. Jackson.
Only 1 out of 500,000 athletes have a chance to make it big in sports Coach Carter stressed to his audience at Pruis Hall last night.
“You can’t keep wishing for things that can’t happen,” He said. “you have to dream big, but then take action.”
As Coach walked onto stage he blew his whistle, as the crowd fell silent. Pacing back and forth quietly for almost a minute as the audience gazed at him wondering when he will speak. He didn’t stand on the stage the entire time and just hope that his words would influence those sitting in the seats before him.
Coach Carter walked around and shook hands while he passed. When he saw a young woman taking notes, he took her notebook and autographed it. When he saw young men thinking they were tough he made them stand up and bump their chest as he yelled, “Stick your chest out.”
“Young men, if I can give you four words to live by: Listen to the woman,” Coach advised.
His entire presentation Coach Carter interacted with his listeners making laughter bounce off every corner of the auditorium.
“He just had a great sense of humor and he connected with the audience,” Matt Petsche, senior entrepreneur major said.
Coach Carter spoke about money, family, hardships, education and Martin Luther King Jr.
“The wind that blows others into the rocks, will blow you to the finish line,” he said.
Coach Ken Carter had everyone shake the hands of the people around them and repeat, “I validate your ability to be successful.”
Breaking the void between each person and having everyone be a part in his motivational speech.
“I am inspired by his words because he said things that applied to my life and education,” Ball States Chapter of National Association of Black Journalists President Brandon Pope said.
There is a different between a job and a career. A job is just over broke; while a career will be something you are not paid hourly for. Coach Carter said always do more than what you are paid to do. He doesn’t believe in giving 110% but he believes in giving 100% by knowing you roll in life.
“When I was seven years old I wrote down that they were going to make a movie about me and 35 years later, they did,” Coach Carter said. “Write things down because they are more likely to come true.”
When secondary education major, Mike Zmija heard about Coach Carters Impact Academy in Marlin Texas, he knew what he wanted to learn from the couch.
“There’s a problem with diversity in the school systems and I knew he would have some knowledge from both the teaching and administration standpoint,” Mike Zmija said.
The Impact Academy focuses on academic performances for young men between the ages of 12 to 18.
Photos by Stephanie Tarrant for Muncie Free Press