Friday, July 25, 2008

More Summer Reading! Standing Tall by Vivian Stringer

I am always picking up and reading books on a variety of topics, but ones that I pick up the most often are those that are inspirational, many of them coming from people within the world of sports. A few months ago, while taking a break in Orlando, I had the opportunity to read, Standing Tall: A Memoir of Tragedy & Triumph, by C. Vivian Stringer and Laura Tucker.

Vivian Stringer is truly a remarkable woman…she is the only coach in history to take three different teams to the NCAA Final Four, most recently with her team at Rutger’s University, where she is the Women’s Head Basketball Coach. She has been a member of the United States Olympic Team Coaching Staff and has received numerous awards, honors, and accolades for her exemplary coaching and leadership.

What most don’t realize is that she is also a remarkable wife, mother, and cancer survivor. Having lost her husband much too soon, she raised her three children, including her youngest daughter, Nina, who has 24-hour care requirements, on her own, and battled breast cancer. Coach Stringer was plunged into the national spotlight, following the remarks of radio show host, Don Imus, and she led her team through that controversy with the utmost in grace, integrity, and dignity.

All of us at Camp Good Days and many supporters and community members had the opportunity to personally meet Coach Stringer and hear firsthand from her about her life’s work and the many tragedies and triumphs she has gone through. Coach Stringer was the Special Guest at the Talkin’ Basketball Dinner on Friday, July 11th, which kicked off our Annual Teddi “T” Sports Fest. Coach Stringer was everything and more than we had hoped for, especially for those of us who had previously read her book. She is an exceptional woman, mother, wife, coach, and leader and one of the members of the sports community who parents would be proud to have their daughters look up to.

It was a wonderful opportunity to have met Coach Stringer and I would encourage all of you to take a little bit of time in the few remaining weeks of summer and pick up a copy of Standing Tall: A Memoir of Tragedy & Triumph, as I know you will be just as impressed with Coach Stringer as I was!