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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Basketball Much More Than Just A Game: Book Review

Book Review . Coach Lawrence McKenzie . Basketball . Biz - Business . NBA Drafts . AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) . Grassroots Basketball . College & Professional . Dr. James Naismith . Kobe Bryant . Michael Jordan . Healthy Lifestyles . God . South Africa . Motivational . Booker T. Washington High School . Air Force . European Leagues

Exciting book for me to review. I did also enjoy looking at the photos in this book, as well.

I am highly elated that Coach McKenzie sent me an autographed complimentary copy for review.

I would highly recommend this book for businesses, schools, organizations, parents and Churches.

Coach sometimes wonder how many parents would stick their chest out if their kids grade point average was next to their points per game.

Coach McKenzie is a Coach, Educator, Author & Speaker. The only Coach to win four straight state titles in the ninety-nine year history of the Minnesota State Boys Basketball Tournament, shares his success strategies for "winning" on the court & in life.

Basketball is a business, & a scholarship is an investment.



Basketball More Than Just A Game, NBA Drafts, Amateur Athlete Union, Grassroots Basketball, College and Professional Basketball, European Leagues, Dr. James Naismith, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan




Basketball is no different from other things in life; you must understand the basics before you can master anything.

The training has to be about developing the kid's skills & not be strictly a business relationship.




Business Books, Motivational Books, Business Books in Spanish, Motivational Books in Spanish



Coach McKenzie was first introduced to the game when he was seven years old; his father took him to his Uncle Stan's high school basketball game.

His college career was cut short due to a bad attitude & a lack of focus.

But as only God would have it, providing an opportunity for redemption, he would find a place for him to give back & impact the lives of young men who were just like him.


To Parents:

The costs associated with parenthood, & they are numerous, are well worth it. The McKenzies' was & still is, in some respect a basketball family. The family tradition started with Coach father, Lawrence, learning the game on the streets of Miami. He became a star at Booker T. Washington High School & later in the Air Force.

Both Coach's son & daughter followed the family tradition & started at an early age.

Being five feet seven as a fourth grader made her a pretty popular camper.

Her new passion for the game of basketball kept her busy over the next few years, playing traveling ball for a few teams, four years of high school, & three years of college before deciding that the WNBA was not in her future, & she decided to continue her involvement with the game by becoming one of the team's broadcasters. Through the game she even managed to find her prince; KO, as they call him, is a former basketball star at Norfolk State, where they both played. Coach has even coached him during their brief stint in pursuit of professional basketball careers. They got married in September of 2009.

His son, Lawrence, started early with a house league at the YMCA. Lawrence is still pursuing his dream to play in the NBA, playing professionally in Macedonia & for the Los Angeles Defenders of the NBDL until his recent injury. Lawrence is the father of the McKenzie's first grandchild, Kailah Rae McKenzie, who probably pursue the game of basketball if his son has his way.

Its important to do your best best to not become that pushy sports parent.

Coach advice is to enjoy the moment, because it doesn't last forever. Kids grow up & move out & move on.

Coach talks to his children almost every day.


Life lessons Coach shares that he learned:

Learning to appreciate the joy of victory while remaining humble, & learning how to get back up,dust his self off, & move on after the agony of defeat.

To be responsible for his own attitude & understand that he can only control him-self, to always be open to learning, & to know that life is about serving others so that the world might be a better place.

Basketball is a game that is played by nearly three million people worldwide, ^ an estimated forty-five million in the United States. It is one of America's most popular sports but is also a very popular sport in other countries as well. It is a very culturally diverse sport & has opened up new doors all across the world, bringing foreign players to America to play the game at its highest level.

Michael Jordan, the most recognized player to ever play the game of basketball, has made it an extremely popular sport.

James Naismith was challenged by Dr. Luther Halsey Gilick Jr. to create an indoor activity as an outlet for sometimes unruly groups of students during the long, cold winter months in New England.






Naismith's challenge was to create a game that could be played by artificial light.

On January 18, 1896, the first college basketball game was played with the five-man format in Iowa City, Iowa. During the game, the University of Chicago defeated the University of Iowa, 15-12.

James Naismith 13 Rules of Basketball are listed in this book.

The game that Coach McKenzie once played for fun has blossomed into a multibillion dollar industry where kids are used like chess pieces so that adults can be crowned kings or queens.

The business of basketball includes selling sneakers, specialized training, traveling basketball, recruiting service, youth associations, & more, but it strides on selling pipe dreams through the magic of smoke screens.

The 5th Dimension used to sing "You don't have to be a star to be in my show." Today everybody has to be a star!

For Coach it started with the purchase of fifty-dollar Jordan shoes for his three-month old son. It continued with anything advertised or worn by Orlando Magic & Penny Hardaway.


Michael Jordan ...

"If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks."

If you put in the work, the results will come.

Michael Jordan play to win, whether during practice or a real game.

... Michael Jordan


These major events become our family vacations, which generate dollars not only for the organizers but increase revenues for hotels, restaurants, & malls.

The NBA Drafts only sixty players each year, with a limited number actually making the team.

So often he has seen parents investing in training when they should be investing in a tutorial course for reading or the standardized tests.

The reality is that only two out of every 100 high school athletes will ever play in college, & only 1 of every 12 thousand high school athletes will ever become professional players.



Healthy Lifestyles, Nutrition, Food, Recipes, Health



The AAU (Amateur Athlete Union) is one of the largest sports nonprofit organizations in the United States. Founded in 1888 with the purpose to establish standards & uniformity in amateur sports, it administers thirty-two different sports. Proof of grade & membership are required.

Grassroots basketball, is much like the subprime mortgage market, making up the rules as they go along, & always in the interest of making a dollar. The former NCAA President, Myles Brand, describes it as the dysfunctional world of youth basketball.

TV analyst Len Elmore, who played college & professional basketball, graduated from Harvard, & is now the executive of Ihoops, has been quoted as saying "that shoe companies spending has thrown youth basketball into turmoil."

As a smart athlete you must be willing to ask yourself this question: Do those claiming to care really have my best interest at heart?

The best kids usually play for free, & others pay 1000's to finance the team with hopes of being seen by North Carolina, Kentucky, or Duke.

College basketball is big business. It's megamillion - dollar coaching contracts & selling sports apparel in team colors.

Corporations pay as much as $100,000 for a thirty - second ad during the early rounds of NCAA tournament. The NCAA television deal is worth $6.1 billion over 11 years for TV rights.

Every year during the NCAA tournament, Richard Lapchick of Diversity & Ethics in Sports (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida releases the graduation rates of the participating teams in "Keeping Score When Its Counts." Last year his study found that 64 percent of the teams participating in the NCAA tournament graduated 50 percent of all its players, but the percentage of graduation for African-American differed by 31 percent.

We spend so much of our lives chasing dreams, trying to capture the desires of our heart, with very little time appreciating our Creation's blessings.

A couple of years ago Coach lost his father, & while he was fortunate to spend some very memorable moments with him, he often find that he thinks about the things they didn't get a chance to do.

Besides Thanksgiving, when was the last time you thanked those special people who have touched your life & told them how much you have appreciated what they've done?

Coach & his wife was blessed in 2006 to travel to South Africa &, in particular, Bostwana, with Athletes in Action, as part of the Sports Ministry team. They actually celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary on this trip.

The trip was a blessing for him, it made him appreciate a great country like the United States, in spite of its shortcomings.

He witnessed orphans infected with HIV & kids looking in trashcans for their next meals.

He met a young Christian pastor, Gary Pelotshweu, who he continues to communicate with & plan on assisting with building a school to be used by young kids.

So while you chase your dreams don't forget to thank those people who helped you along the way.

With two children, Coach & his wife sometimes passed like two ships in the night while traveling to opposite sides of the city.

Back when his daughter was playing AAU & he coached her team, they qualified for Nationals in Memphis, Tennessee. It was an inner-city squad, full of talent but short on cash & opportunity.

They didn't win the tournament, but the trip wasn't a total loss. He took the girls to talk to the Coach at the University of Memphis. They also visited several historical sites, including the National Civic Rights Museum, where they sat on a replica of the Montgomery bus that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on. They also toured the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated, & a house turned museum that the slaves used in the Underground Railroad. Some girls, including his daughter,got letters from interested Colleges.

While a teacher has the responsibility for inspiring & molding the minds of our children, they are probably the least appreciated.

As students, we often fail to acknowledge the contribution of our teachers until much later in life. As for me I came from a long family line of educators - preachers - pastors.

The scholarship includes tuition, room & board, & other fees, but players are rewarded by receiving some of the great coaching, medical care, first-class treatment for injuries, trips to exotic locations during the winter, free tickets, media relations, & hopefully one day a very good job.

If parents are looking for financial assistance, they should be aware that it's been estimated that there are thirty times more scholarship dollars available for college academic scholarships than there are for athletic scholarships. The higher the grade point average, the more opportunities exist to have a scholarship offered.

In the end, academics should always be your priority because when you have played your last game its the educated students who would be the ultimate winners.

Very little time is spent watching the game, kids these days aren't really fans of the game. They're fans of some of the players in the game: Lebron, Kobe, Dwayne Wade, KG - the big names.

It is said that no player or coach spends more time studying his opponents than Kobe Bryant. Before each game you will find him with a portable DVD player watching clips of the players he'll be guarding in that particular game. He's looking for just the slightest advantage.

The greatest players are the ones who have mastered the most basic skills. We have begun to see more & more Europeans players being drafted into the NBA & the expansion of the league overseas primarily because of their style of game.

If you want to mimic a style, look at the European leagues, whose players have a flair for the fundamentals. They have some of the best players because they've gone back to the basics.

Coach Randy Brown, a former college coach at Iowa State, amongst other, suggests that kids need to learn forty basic basketball skills. Included in this book is 40 Skill Development Checklist with a brief breakdown of each position.

Kobe is just good; he's not a good guard or forward. He's good, period.

Jay-Z didn't drop Reasonable Doubt, his debut album until he was twenty-seven. He understands that while the world is a rush, true greatness takes time!

Teachable translates into being coachable.

It starts with recognizing that you don't know everything & being willing to learn. The book of Proverbs says, "In all you do get wisdom & understanding."

Coachable players want to get better & understand that when they are coached it's for their own good & the good of the team.

One thing that stuck with Phil Jackson when he was hired as Chicago Bulls assistant coach was Red Holzmans statement, "It isn't about how great a star player, is himself, its's about how great he makes the player around him." Michael, being coachable, transformed his game from being a scorer to learning how to beat teams without having to score. Even the greatest player in the game allowed himself to be coached.

A truly coachable player has the ability to separate the truth from fantasy.

If you don't believe in you, then why should I or anyone else, for that matter?

Believing is about faith, & faith is holding onto that which you can't see.

The word no is engrained in us. So we learn to play it safe & not take risks.

But when you believe in yourself, you have the power to make positive changes. As they say in Star Trek, "You can go where man has never gone before."

Your mind is your power! We often don't take advantage of the power within us. If you want to be successful, then watch your thoughts. Stop thinking like a chicken when you were created to be an eagle!

The world can be cruel; it places labels on you & tell you that you are not the right color or maybe you don't dress right or maybe you're too short or too big or maybe you talk differently, & we listen to it & start to believe it.

In October of 1998, Coach was hired as an assistant coach at Minnesota Patrick Henry. He was warned that it was a bad job; for the kids lacked discipline & had very little talent.

Coming off a season of being beat in the first round off the sectional play-offs, the school hired a well-known youth pastor who previously coached girl's basketball named Efrem Smith. He was introduced to Efrem in Church & asked if he needed any assistants & was offered the opportunity to volunteer.

Efrem Smith coached with Christian principles & shared Bible lessons to back them up. If God be with me, who can be against me?

Prior to the this game they were coming off one of the biggest runs in Minnesota basketball history with 3 straight state titles, led by standout guard Khalid El-Amin.

On a Friday night in a crowded gym their kids began to understand what it meant to believe. Mike Pettis, was having the game of his life, kept them close, every kid was shouting "I believe, I believe" at the end of regulation in a huddle.

Coach McKenzie was hired as head coach, after Coach Smith left to take a youth pastor job in Dayton, Ohio. Led by three juniors, Johnnie Gilbert, Greg Patton, & Tony Travis, they would return to the state tournament his first season,only to lose in the quarter finals that year.

Their mantra "Refuse to Lose" was born, & in 2003, Minneapolis Patrick Henry joined Southwest Minnesota Christians as the only two teams in state history to win four consecutive titles, all because they learned to believe!

Your attitude can either be your greatest asset or your greatest liability.

It is the foundation of becoming a champion, whether on the court, in the classroom, in the community, or in your family.

For so many coaches the emphasis is skill development, & very little time spent on developing the right attitude & character.

Their daily practice was known as the patriot creed; they repeated it before every game. Nine steps explained in this book. Awesinwe!


Loving to live starts with the understanding that each of us is truly special, made in the image of our Creator.

Successful people want to be around successful people, while misery loves company.

Coach once read if you want to be a millionaire, find one to hang out with, & it makes sense, because they're making deals with people like themselves.

Surround yourself with dream makers not dream killers, not those whose only contribution to you is to bring nothing but negative energy.

Coach understands the pain of young people making bad choices; one of his former players is currently serving life without parole in a California prison. It only takes fifteen - to twenty -seconds lapses in judgment to ruin your life & change your future.

He was an outstanding student-athlete who excelled in football & basketball - a star quarterback & a three-time state champion in basketball. He had star qualities, & he earned a basketball scholarship in pursuit of playing in the NBA.

Young people are faced with challenges that he couldn't even imagine - the lure of hip-hop culture, the information superhighwway, & the influence of music videos & mass media.

When you love to live, what you eat & don't eat becomes important. If you don't take care of your body, it won't take care of you.

Not only is your diet important but so are proper rest & exercise.

When you love to live, you know that you cannot put chemicals into your body.

In a 1968 speech in Atlanta, the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke the words, "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve. He went on to say, "You don't need a college degree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love"

Coach's grandmother, Pauline Jones, a very spiritual woman, was there for anybody with a need, whether in the Church or the in the community.

His grandfather, William Jones, served as the neighborhood handyman.

His mom & dad, Lawrence & Retha McKenzie home was where relatives & friends came to relax, get a meal, or to lay their heads. His sister Paula is a nurse, helping those that are sometimes in their weakest moments, & his sister Carla is an administrator with the school system.

Coach was blessed to marry a woman with the same values & upbringing. They ended up taking his niece & nephew after his wife lost her sister to sickle cell anemia.

So when that final horn sounds, & you've scored that last basket in the game of life, Coach hopes your final stats will read as you being the type of player who not only had the ability to score, but was always willing to provide an assist, & your dash will say you were truly a champion.


Coach McKenzie successfully inspires to motivate audiences everywhere to enjoy, achieve, & go from the sidelines to become true players for your business, Church, school, or organization.