First up, Chief Sealth's boys basketball team is rolling on at the state championships. To that end, a great story on their inspirational coach, Colin Slingsby, from the Times' Steve Kelley. Just like all great coaches, it's not just about what happens on the court. Here's a guy who wants to be a teacher:
When Slingsby began his coaching career at Sealth, he worked the night shift at United Parcel Service, punching the clock from 9:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. He also went to school, an undergraduate at Washington before getting his master's degree at Seattle University.
"He's a new age, old-school coach. A retro Father Flanagan," assistant coach Greg Kalina said. "A lot of coaches profess to do it, but he walks the walk 10 stories higher than I've ever seen anybody else do it."
Of the 40 players who have stayed in his program since he became the Sealth coach eight years ago, 37 of them have gone to college.
And what role did he play in that as a coach?
Four years ago, as the grades of some of his junior varsity kids were slouching toward failure, Slingsby arranged something he called "Sunday Study Hall." He took a group of ninth-graders, including Tra'von Lane, to Barnes & Noble every Sunday morning and made them read for two hours.
"We never had anybody who cared about us like that," said Sealth senior point guard Lane."He would tell us (at the bookstore), 'You've got to do your work. If you have bad grades now, you're going to regret it later when you want to go to college,' " Lane said. "He made us understand how important grades are. He's making us into men."
My personal favorite:
"I really love Sealth," said Slingsby, 29, who lives a half-mile from school. "And the teaching side of it has added to my own personal happiness.
His personal happiness is teaching, motivating, guiding and leading his students. That's a teacher.
(Someone had put in some good news about Cleveland but it was anonymous so it had to be deleted. Please either send me the link or repost it with some name/moniker attached. Thanks!)