“The force of character is cumulative.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

WHEN I BEGAN COACHING I picked up a little extra money playing basketball on weekends with a semipro team in Indiana, the Kautskys, run by a good and decent man named Frank Kautsky, a grocer. My pay was $50 a game.

I was a good free throw shooter back then, and at one point over a period of many, many games sank 100 in a row. When I sank the one-hundredth free throw, Mr. Kautsky asked the officials to stop the game momentarily. Then he walked out onto the court and announced to the crowd that he was rewarding me for making 100 straight free throws with a brand new one hundred dollar bill. Of course, the crowd loved it and so did Nellie Wooden, who was ...

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