Pete Newell, who conducted the annual “Big Man Camp” that was annually attended by a multitude of accomplished professional basketball players, died this week at the age of 93.
In addition to his world famous instructional camp for big men, Pete Newell spent time as the General Manager for the Los Angeles Lakers and was a successful coach at the level for the San Francisco Dons, the Michigan State Spartans, and the University of California, Berkeley.
Growing up as an Indiana fan, I was introduced to the legend of Pete Newell early and often because he was one of idols and mentors of former Indiana coach Bob Knight. Coach Knight has become famous for some of his more notorious displays of disrespect, but Pete Newell was one of the few people in basketball that Knight held up on a pedestal and truly respected.
Recently, on ESPN, Coach Knight paid tribute to Pete Newell. His concluding statement: “Nobody contributed more to this game and its history than Pete Newell did.” You can view the entire tribute here. I don’t think I have ever seen Coach Knight with such a solemn disposition.
Rest in peace Coach Newell. The world of basketball lost one of its most influential teachers, but there is no question that the teachings and philosophies of Pete Newell will live on and have great influence in the world of basketball as long as the game is played.
[tags]pete newell, bob knight, basketball[/tags]