Coach Cheeks


On Friday, thirteen individuals were inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Hame. Among the inductees were former players, coaches, and executives who pushed the game forward and excelled on every level. I grew up admiring stars like Dino Radja, Steve Nash, Grant Hill, and Jason Kidd, and it’s great seeing them honored by the Hall of Fame, but one of my favorite inductees this year is Maurice Cheeks.

Mo Cheeks played the majority of his career for the Philadelphia 76ers throughout the 1980s, and after retiring as a player in 1993, he has coached in the NBA ever since. During his playing years, Cheeks was a four-time NBA All-Star and played in the NBA Finals three times (winning the championship in 1983), and he ranks 5th in NBA history in steals and 11th in assists.

Despite his illustrious NBA playing career, when I think of Maurice Cheeks, I think of him as Coach Cheeks on the night his Portland Trail Blazers were hosting the Dallas Mavericks on April 25, 2003.That night, 8th grader Natalie Gilbert sang the National Anthem as the winner of a “Get the Feeling of Star promotion." Natalie walked onto the court and began singing the National Anthem, but she stumbled at “At the twilight’s last gleaming." Her nerves got the best of her and she forgot the words. She paused and tried to find the words, but she couldn’t.

And then in the background you hear a man say, “C’mon, you got it," and up walks Coach Cheeks next to Natalie who puts his arm around her and starts telling her the next lines of the song. For the rest of the National Anthem, it’s a duet of talented Natalie Gilbert and off-key Maurice Cheeks, but it’s one of the best renditions I’ve ever heard.


That night, Coach Cheeks modeled for the entire NBA world what great educators do every day. He went out of this comfort zone, stood beside a young student, and helped her succeed. I love that every day I get to see teachers on Mustang Mountain identify students who may be struggling and then go out of their comfort zone to help. It’s what we’re all called to do. And even though it’s not in front of thousands of fans in an arena or millions watching at home, it’s appreciated and sometimes even life-changing. We can’t ever forget that.

When you listen to Maurice Cheeks sing the National Anthem, you’ll see pretty quickly he won’t be inducted to the Music Hall of Hame anytime soon. I’m sure glad the basketball thing worked out for him.


Shout-Outs
  • Over fifty students participated in the Drama Club mixer this past Thursday hosted by Jenna Thomas and the Drama Club officers. Drama Club is one of the few middle school/high school clubs, and it’s a great place for students to get plugged in and find their place. A big thanks goes to Jenna for organizing and promoting the mixer— it was great!
  • Our Mustang Missions projects are off to a great start this year! Danny Sullivan did a fantastic job kicking off our Haiti fundraiser, and our students showed up! I can’t wait to see what’s in store this year as our students find ways to serve others.
  • A big thanks goes to James Wilhite and Doug Killgore for teaching our students the Alma Mater. At the end of the pep rally, it was clear the time spent in chapel learning the alma mater was well spent. Our band sounded great and our students were all-in. Awesome job!
  • Thursday’s Family Chapel kickoff went great! A big thanks goes to everyone for being prepared and making sure everything went smoothly. I’m looking forward to seeing all the family groups growing closer together this year.

Upcoming Events
  • Wednesday, September 12
    • Lights Up Day Tour (all day)
    • National Day of Encouragement (7:30 AM Breakfast for Parents)
  • Friday, September 14
    • Faculty Meeting (7:30 AM; Library)
    • B Week (7th & 8th Grade 4th Period)
    • Varsity Cheer Performing on Channel 7’s Good Afternoon, Arkansas (1:30 dismissal; 3:00-4:00 broadcast)
    • Home Football Game (Elementary Cheer Clinic & Grandparents Day)
  • Monday, September 17— Financial Aid Night (5:30 PM)
  • Tuesday, September 18
    • Fall School Picture Day
    • CAC Talent Show (6:30 PM; Auditorium)
  • Thursday, September 20
    • Family Chapel Day
    • Faculty Lunch Provided (by 6th grade parents)

Anything missing? If so, please let me know.



Responsibilities for the Week of September 10-14
Week B
  • Cafeteria AM— E. Schramm
  • Cafeteria PM— C. Prestridge
  • Parking Lot AM— D. Sullivan
  • Parking Lot PM— J. Northen
  • Lunches-- Coaches
  • D-Hall— TBD
  • Chapel— J. Teigen
    • Monday— J. Teigen
    • Tuesday— J. Teigen
    • Wednesday-- Worshipful Wednesday (C. Tappe)
    • Thursday— Admin Auditorium Chapel
    • Friday— STUCO

Remember, it is your responsibility to find a replacement if you are unable to cover your assigned duty. Check the cheat sheet for the full duty schedule.


Resources Worth Checking Out For Personal and Professional Growth






Book Recommendation



4 Values (in rank order)
  1. Model Christ
  2. Safety & Security
  3. School First
  4. Quality Instruction

Important School Links





Click here for Friday Thoughts archive.