Before Michael Jordan was making Bryon Russell fall with a killer crossover and draining the go ahead jumper to win his sixth NBA title with the Chicago Bulls, Jordan was a skinny, determined athlete dominating the competition at Laney High (Wilmington, N.C.).
Before Adrian Peterson was trucking opposing defenses and racking up 2,097 yards in a single season for the Minnesota Vikings, he was shining bright under the Friday night lights at Palestine High (Palestine, Texas), averaging 12 yards a carry and scoring 32 touchdowns.
Before any athlete can become legendary, they have to lay their foundation in the high school ranks.
We catch up with a high-profile athlete’s former coach, mentor, family member, etc., and reminisce about their high school playing days; everything from the greatest moment to the wackiest story.
For Girls Sports Month, we caught up with Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve’s AAU coach for the Philadelphia Belles Mike Flynn.
Reeve has led the Lynx to four-WNBA titles.
Jason Jordan: What’s your best memory of Cheryl on the court back in her AAU days?
Mike Flynn: (Laughs) Just yelling at her! I yelled at her all the time to get her to be better than what she was showing. Cheryl was a great leader and had a spectacular IQ.
JJ: Could you foresee her transitioning into this legendary coach?
MF: No. If you would’ve said back then, that this is a great WNBA coach or Olympic coach you’d say no way. She went beyond her basketball IQ. It’s truly remarkable.
JJ: What’s something that people would be shocked to learn about Cheryl?
MF: Probably that she was really shy. I’m sure she was different around her friends, but she was really laid back and shy for the most part.
JJ: What’s one of the things that impresses you the most about Cheryl?
MF: Probably that she’s who she is all of the time. What you see is what you get. She’s never gonna big time you. That’s special. Cheryl was the good player who became the amazing coach. In today’s game that is almost impossible to do.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY