Tuesday, December 07, 2010

"How Lucky You Can Be" by Buster Olney

Just finished reading "How Lucky You Can Be" about now retired Northern State University men's basketball coach Don Meyer.

I first heard of Meyer from this Dec 2008 Grant Wahl SI piece (which I posted about and linked to here) and was interested in the book when I last week came across mention of it having been penned by the excellent ESPN writer, Buster Olney. From the acknowledgements in the book, it seems that Olney met Meyer as a young writer in Nashville and the two became friends.

Really good and very quick read on someone who has the NCAA record for most men's basketball coaching victories and has gone through a harrowing several years personally... but, has maintained a steadfast focus on what he feels is important.

There's nothing fancy about the book or guy, but it's just remarkable reading about how grounded Meyer appears and what he's accomplished through his passion of coaching basketball.

Reminds me in many ways of what I've read of Coach John Wooden and in fact... Wooden is referenced as a Meyer friend in both Olney's book and by Meyer himself in his acceptance speech below for the 2009 Jimmy V. Award for Perseverance at the ESPYs.

Compelling stuff and I was also struck during the Olney book by how Meyer's accident and cancer diagnosis seemed to actually help him open up to people and express more.

Solid book and worth the short amount of time to read it.