On The Heart Beat

Coaching Lesson: Have a Heart for Others

Coaching Lesson: Have a Heart for Others
Published: 2021-08-13
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When you are a high school coach with a heart as big as a basketball and you get a shout-out from a famous national sportscaster with an equally big heart there's bound to be an online viral stampede.

That’s what happened when TNT’s Ernie Johnson was invited to give a pep talk to the Alabama Crimson Tide football team recently.   At the invite of ‘Bama hall of fame coach Nick Saban, Johnson told a gripping story that began with the adoption of his son Michael.

On Twitter alone, after 20 hours nearly 2 million views of the video were recorded.

Michael went on to become an impact player and member of Braselton Georgia’s Mill Creek High School basketball team.

Recruited by Mill Creek’s coach Phil Bollier, Michael became what Phil called his "five-foot impact player with zero vertical leap."

Michael Johnson has muscular dystrophy and is confined to a wheelchair.

Coach Bollier told Johnson he needed Michael’s help to teach his teammates two things:

The first was to put out maximum effort and the second was to have a heart for others.

Philip Bollier has been teaching and coaching basketball for 36 years. He has worked in Florida, Indiana, and Georgia as a head boys' basketball coach and teacher. Coach Bo, as many call him, has directed all levels of basketball camps including high school, college, and NBA

You won’t be able to miss Ernie Johnson’s heart either as you view the ‘Bama football team motivation talk that includes much of the above.

Here is the video, courtesy of UA Football.    Readers' Alert: Have Tissues Nearby

And just to assure you know: 

Ernie Johnson and his wife, Cheryl, a licensed professional counselor, live in Braselton, Georgia, and have two biological children (one son, named Eric, and one daughter, named Maggie) and four adopted children ( Michael, adopted from Romania, daughter Carmen, adopted from Paraguay and daughters Ashley and Allison adopted domestically through foster care).

These are Hall of Fame Hearts!