Duke Head Coach Krzyzewski grew up in Chicago (near Augusta and Damen) and was recruited by Bob Knight to play basketball at the U.S. Military Academy. He later became head coach at West Point before taking the same position at Duke University. In his 29th season at Duke, Krzyzewski was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame after being selected as National Coach of the Year 12 times.
Under his reign, the Blue Devils have won three NCAA championships (1991, 1992, 2001) and 10 Final Fours.
Coach K was also named head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National team, a position he held through the team’s gold medal winning performance in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
On Tuesday, Krzyzewski was in town to lead a group of some of the nation’s top collegiate coaches in the NABC Foundation’s Ticket To Reading Rewards (TTRR) program. The coaches went to Chicago middle schools to visit with students and the TTRR program, a reading incentive program that encourages Middle School students to read books outside the classroom and obtain rewards for reading.
It was there that I had an exclusive chat with Coach K. on Chicago’s Olympic bis his old neigborhood and many more Chicago-related topics
TSB: Have you checked out the Chicago 2016 plans?
Coach K: Actually, we saw the presentation while we were in Beijing and I was really proud of what’s there. The city is already beautiful, but to put in all those venues and to have all the world here- if there are people on other planets, they will see the glow coming from Chicago during the time of the Olympics, its already beautiful, but it will glow. They’ll be a buzz for the 8 years leading up to it and forever afterwards. I think we take it for granted in Chicago the cultures we have, it really is -more than other city in America- a world city.
TSB: As a fellow Polish-American myself, I’m proud to mention that we have the largest population of Poles outside of Warsaw…
Coach K: Whether you’re Romanian, African-American, Greek, Italian, it doesn’t make a difference: Chinese, Japanese you see the celebration of all these cultures all the time. I don’t live here anymroe, but whenever I come back,I’m amazed by what they’ve done from the inner city growing out, especially in my own neighborhood, Ukrainian Village.
TSB: And how about the United Center as an Olympic Venue, the house that Michael built with the statue of his airness right outside tell me about the prospect of a Gold Medal game being played in this venue…
Coach K: People from around the world of basketball would think it’s such an honor, to play on the court that Michael Jordan played on, he’s a world figure and the United Center is such a special place anyway.
For the Full interview click here.