TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Nolan Richardson’s visits to Tulsa basketball games bring louder cheers with each trip.
The Tulsa World reports (https://bit.ly/1upzU6D ) the former TU coach (1980-85) was recognized for his recent induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during halftime of a recent 73-55 victory over Memphis.
The legendary coach took time to speak on a few different topics during a visit:
On his legacy at Tulsa: “You go in as a coach and you want to do the best job that you can do. You think in terms of what Martin Luther King has said: ‘Judge me not by the color of my skin, but the contents of my character.’ For us to try to get more African-Americans into the game of coaching . when you look at all the kids that are playing and they never have the dream to be a head coach because they never see any. That’s not good. That’s not right. I did the best that I could to do the best job that I could. So there could be guys that could follow me.”
On his time at Tulsa: “The juice flows a little bit different in terms of what I’d like to see happen. On the basketball court, I’m a different animal. It’s all about let’s go to work and do these things. I wore red. I wore polka dots. It seemed to me that I was choreographing what I needed done. I had guys in the polka dots going up and down riding bicycles. Getting away from the old tradition of just walk out and play basketball. We had to create some excitement and I felt that I had to be the guy that created this excitement and have some winning on top of it.”
On what makes Tulsa special: “Tulsa gave me my first opportunity. That’s why it’s engrained in me more than any other place because when I go back and look at seven (African-American) coaches.
And out of those seven coaches, only two coaches had “University of” on their name. The rest of us were private schools. Georgetown, Temple, Tulsa . when I look at that, I said, ‘Man, this is my first opportunity to show what I can do’ and Tulsa gave me that. That sticks with me. It always will. They ask me why you like Tulsa so much. I said the people. The people make whatever you are going to be. The people in this whole community was very good to Nolan Richardson and his family. That’s why it is a very dear program to me.”
On use of social media today and how he would have dealt with it: “It scares me to death. You have no privacy. You could be talking to your kid and he’s tweeting what the coach is talking about to one of his friends. And his friend is tweeting to someone else. The social media . it’s another animal. You come to practice and you see guys on their phones just clicking away. They are on their way to practice . I couldn’t stand that. You would have to take your phones and check them in until practice is over, then I’ll issue your phones back. I don’t think they would like that today. They’d say I was too old fashioned. But that’s how I would be. No tweeting during my practices. It’s just a new world with social media. I guess it’s great. I just don’t like it. For basketball, football or baseball. Not for sports.”
Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.