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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Hart

bobby knight the cream puff

my grandfather, everett "skip" mohatt, was honored by amandor valley high school by being voted in with the first group for their new sports wall of fame before the varsity football homecoming game. it was my first time back at amador since my grandfather's memorial service that was held in the school's gymnasium also know as the skip mohatt gymnasium. in addition to being a basketball and softball coach, he also taught a competition civics class that won several state and national titles. among many other things, he was also a die hard oakland a's and found myself appreciating that he was selected for the wall of fame along with stephen piscotty. current right fielder for the oakland a's.

my grandfather's name was mentioned along with a coaching the basketball team to 9 consecutive ebal titles, know for his discipline, ethics and courage while leading his players on the court. i often think about his improbable life and his even more improbable success as a basketball coach. when he was 13, a priest read him his last rites (or if you ask my dad, performed an exorcism) because of polio. from that point forward, he was only able to walk with leg braces and crutches. a true student and teacher of the game with a unique ability to lead and get the most out of everyone that gave him a chance. and perhaps his 'style' had something to do with it too - his friend would always say he made bobby knight look like a cream puff,

i think of my grandfather often. the time we spent, the things he taught me, the relationship we had and how lucky i am that he is my grandfather. his induction to the wall of fame came 13 years after he passed, 26 years after he retired from teaching and probably close to, if not more than 40 years since coaching his last basketball game. the real honor of the night was knowing that there are still people out there that think of him often too.

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