There are lots of basketball coaches way more famous than Thatcher Wood, head coach at Madrona K-8, and Pat Riley even looked better in a suit. But no coach loves his players more or spends as many hours thinking about them as students, and more importantly, as kids. That’s why Madrona basketball’s undefeated season is so special.
Everyone suspected that good things were coming; though all were afraid to jinx it by saying so. When you’ve spent years on the losing end, it‘s hard to believe in the bounty that befell Madrona hoops this year. Coach Wood has had good players in his 6 years but never like this.
On the floor diving for balls, Daeshon’s voted Player of the Game. Tucker contributed his high basketball IQ and sweet jumper, and Will–Was that a behind-the-back pass in the championship game? Oh yes!–commanded the floor. Everyone played their part: Jimaun, Tayshawn, Jamala, Keontre, Darnell, John, Louis, Michael, Craig, and Keasean.
The sweetest part of the season was that Wood showed other coaches what winning with dignity is about. In the past, coaches from schools four times Madrona’s size ran up scores on them by 70 or 80 points. Now they witnessed calm, assertive strength on the winner’s bench. Wood doesn’t yell, stomp, or degrade; he motivates, encourages, and sometimes consoles; never forgetting that’s somebody’s kid out there.
As these boys go on to bigger and better things, and several have a future in basketball, they will surely value their experience with Coach Wood. He is deservedly well-loved in the Madrona community, and they are proud of their middle school championship win. Ask any student, staff, or parent, and they’ll tell you, “It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”
But I’m partial; I’m his wife.
By Christine Kaufman
From Madrona News