OPTIMISTIC - Day 5
STORY AND AWARD TRAINING:
Read the short story and award the Character Certificate for the week.
NBA’s Greatest Moments | Reed Inspires Knicks to Victory
It was Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals, and nobody knew if Willis Reed would play. The center and captain of the New York Knicks had suffered a torn muscle in his right thigh during Game 5 against the Los Angeles Lakers, and had not played in Game 6 when Wilt Chamberlain’s 45 points and 27 rebounds enabled the Lakers to tie the series at 3-3.
When the teams took the floor for pre-game warmups, Reed was not with his New York teammates. He remained in the locker room, deep in the bowels of the building.
“I wanted to play,” Reed recalls. “That was for the championship, the one great moment you play for all your life. I didn’t want to have to look at myself in the mirror 20 years later and say I wished I had tried to play.”
Willis Reed just moments before tipoff limped through the tunnel and onto the court. Waves of cheers cascaded down from the Garden stands as fans caught sight of the Knicks’ captain, a sight that was not lost on New York’s opponents.
“I saw the whole Laker team standing around staring at this man,” said Knicks guard Walt Frazier. “When I saw that, when they stopped warming up, something told me we might have these guys!”
Reed lined up against Chamberlain for the opening tap and scored the Knicks’ first two baskets of the game. Those would prove to be his only points, but his presence was more than enough to inspire the Knicks to a 113-99 victory and the franchise’s first NBA Championship. Overshadowed by Reed’s emotion-charged effort was one of the great playoff performances in NBA history by Frazier, who led the Knicks with 36 points and 19 assists.
WORKOUT: Have the team answer the following questions:
- What is one way you need to grow as a student athlete?
- What is a way you need to grow as a team?
Athlete of the Week: Coach summarizes his choice for the award.
- Introduction: Each athlete is in the process of building their character story. The character athlete for this week is ___________________________.
CLOSE: Team Leader concludes practice by leading the Final Four as their teammates echo it back as yesterday.