To: A Legend
By JEFF LUND
July 07, 2020
Bill Stricker did. While many people attempt to appear virtuous or successful to others, Bill made you want what he had. Not the stuff, success or the brief NBA career, but the joy, the integrity, the spirit. He created a massive wake during his life that still rolls on after his passing.
In a time that wants to vilify the phrase “be a man” Bill mentored myself and many others in what it means to be a man, not through lecture, but through the way he lived. He wasn’t the guy trying to sell you anything in the way people today want to monetize or take credit for inspiration. He cared, and though he had to know he changed lives, he never seemed to keep score. I’m grateful that I listened and allowed myself to be mentored by a man of substance, not sizzle. Any good or positivity that I am able to provide in this life is because men like Bill Stricker mentored me in what it means to be a man. A real man, because Bill was a true gentleman. Not in the way that was hijacked by condescending, emotionless, well-dressed egotists but in the way of a kind, gentle but powerful, put-together man focused on his own inward mechanics, more than his outward appearance. Bill Stricker was more put together, gracious and impactful in a cotton polo and jeans than anyone I’ve ever met wearing a suit.
There was one Bill Stricker, and I am grateful I had the chance to know him. He helped me understand the magnitude of being a teacher and coach, and what it means when parents put their kids in your care and under your influence.
Bill Stricker was a legend, a titan of influence, an “all-time classic” as my buddy Gary, who played for him, said the day of his passing.
He will be missed.
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