Meet Jesse Winter, Drew’s Level Up Travel Basketball Coach. Their bond was fueled by the passion they expressed on the court, relentless determination, and most all, they both hated to lose.
Cool, calm and collected on the court. The basketball court that is. My point guard and extension of me from the sideline. My mini me who I loved to call “Agassi” in front of you and your boys which was guaranteed to get a laugh.
The fact that you knew you were “that dude” at 8 years old walking around with that quiet confidence that you just can’t teach spoke volumes. The kid I wanted with the ball with the game on the line, handling the double team or knocking down 2 free throws down by 1 with no time on the clock.
I always told you to remember me when you make it big time. That’s what you were, big time, bigger than life. I’ll always remember you as that but more importantly someone your peers looked up to on and off the court.
You had the “killer instinct” and “sense of urgency” to be at your best and most of all hated to lose. Just like your coach. We always had that in common and I was putting myself in your shoes every chance I got.
Coming over to train you I felt like I was giving back to my younger self. Poking fun at dad was probably the best moments we had, I remember it like yesterday. Him bragging that he was ready to join our roster and be another ball handler. “Come on Drew, no one throws a better bounce pass than me.” Always got us chuckling.
You made me proud for more reasons then you’ll ever know. Not a day has gone by where I haven’t thought of you and I’ll always carry a piece of you throughout the rest of my life. I’m a better person for knowing you and a better coach for coaching you.
I’ll meet you again, some day, hitting 10 free throws in a row before you leave.
Love you, Agassi,