By Steve Astle, Dec 29 2014 11:20PM
Its with great sadness that I write this blog, only hours ago I found out that the greatest coach ive ever had the pleasure of knowing has passed away. Im going to try and summarise one of my heros if its possible and what made him great. I hope you are fortuante enough to have one in your World.
Im so blessed in my career that I get out of bed every day and I get to help people get better at something they love doing and I do it for a living. I love my job, I think about it when on holiday, I worry about it when things arent going right, reality check is I do other peoples hobby for a living!
These things dont happen by accident, there are certain life changers along the way and Clarence Wiggins was one massive life changer. He engaged with me and saw my potential in a sport I'd never really tried. His infectious love for his Sport and anybody that played it is what drew me toward playing Basketball, he lived it and breathed it. He was a role model for me and my friends, every evening a pick up game after school, a professional athlete stretching his legs against school kids, he dragged us along for the ride. Even in those games he made sure you were involved, got you the ball when you needed an easy basket, made you work so hard if he was guarding you and every seconded demanded the very best from you. If he made a mistake he let you know he made one and everything just carried on, you didnt want to miss a session.
I think the only disappointment I ever got from Clarence was when I found out that the special bond we had was replicated with hundreds of others in their own unique way. It was never a fault just a sign of how many people he truely touched.
The longer I sit here the harder it is to put into words the impact he had on my life, it was coaching to the extreme. Somebody said to me this morning "Nobody cares what you know until they know that you care." That was Clarence right there, he cared, about everybody and everything, then when it was time to move on he patted you on the back and he didnt miss you because his work wasnt done, he had another you waiting to be developed.
I could go on for days but Im going to keep this in the coaching world. He wasn't the most technically minded, he knew enough and importantly how to win and lose, about heart and commitment and he led by example on and of the court. He inspired, demanded, engaged and if I can become half the coach that he was then I'll be doing just fine. I miss him already, and the coaching world will too. This is coaching people, its about the journey not the destination, yet when somebody like Clarence comes along most people tend to end up in the right place. You cant put this in a box or in a book, its not a gift or a talent, it cant really be taught, its something much deeper than that, its coaching from the heart and Im sure Clarence has his own life changers to thank. Im blessed that I knew him and in the tiniest way possible I was part of something special.
Thank you Clarence, my thoughts are with CJ and their families. Friendships have been made, moments have been shared and now a legacy has been left.