of Basketball's First Great Coach
Since the birth of basketball in the YMCA's of
New England at the dawn of the 20th century, the game has known
many great coaches. Each makes his own contributions to the sport,
others learn from his successes and build on what they've learned
to make their own mark on the game. However, there was a time when
there was no one to learn from, no successes to emulate.
Someone had to be first.
When basketball was in its infancy, many men saw
the sport's potential for building physical fitness and good character
in young men. But one man possessed the rare combination of skill,
passion and charisma that came together in unique circumstances
to produce basketball's first great coach. Ernest Blood developed
a system of training boys that dominated basketball in a way like
none other before or since. Affectionately called Professor Blood-or
"Prof" Blood for short-the game's first coaching phenom amassed
a mind-boggling 159-game win streak spanning five years with his
teams at New Jersey's Passaic High School. It was no wonder his
teams were dubbed the "Wonder Teams."
Like many transcendent success stories, this one
is rife with controversy and adversity, jealousy, and battles of
wills. At the heart of it all, though, you will find a coach whose
greatness is not merely measured by his extraordinary record, but
also by his deep love of the game, unquestionable values and a desire
to help boys become men of integrity and honor.
This is his story.