This weekend the Final Four of the United States university league will be played and basketball fans are preparing for an exciting day. However, this date also represents the end of an era since Mike Krzyzewski will end his career of almost half a century and countless hits.
For the last time, the 75-year-old coach will be at the helm of the Duke University team he has led since 1980, and will close a career in which he grew tired of reaping victories and records in the academic environment. But also titles and medals with the US men’s team: he was the assistant, for example, part of the coaching staff of the unforgettable Dream Team that won gold in Barcelona 1992 and as head coach, was an Olympic champion three times and won two World Cups.
Krzyzewski is considered the best coach in the history of college basketball along with the legendary John Wooden (ten-time champion with the University of California) lived the sport with passion and dedication. “I love what I do. When I was 16 years old, I dreamed of being a basketball teacher and coach. And I still feel that same passion”commented more than once in recent years who began his coaching career in 1974.
The story of this coach who dedicated 42 years of his life to basketball is permeated by a deep love for the discipline. Before coming to Duke, he spent one season as an assistant at Indiana University and five seasons leading the United States Military Academy team. in which he himself had played during his years serving in the Armed Forces.
At the head of the Blue Devils, he reached the Final Four for the first time in 1986 and won the first NCAA title in 1991. Today he already has four other trophies in his windows (1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015) and is the coach with more presences in this final stage of the competition, which will take place this weekend for the 13th time, and the first in history to reach that instance in five different decades.
“Coach K is one of the best of all time, if not the best. He suits us perfectly… He allows us to have freedom, play basketball and have fun, but at the same time he wants us to be perfect. We should expect perfection and that’s what he wants” LeBron James told a few years ago.
WHAT WILL COACH K’S LAST GAME BE LIKE?
This Saturday they will face their classic rival North Carolina from 9:50 p.m. in Argentina in the national semifinals and around 73,000 spectators are expected to attend at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. Duke is going for its sixth title and if they win they will clash on Monday with the winner of the duel between Kansas and Villanova.
The last game of who was on the Durham bench 42 years ago is coming and a historic man says goodbye.
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Final Four: Mike Krzyzewski retires after almost 50 years of career