Mar 29, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; View of Final Four signage outside a hotel in downton Houston. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Fred Faour: The Final Four in town is about more than the games
The Final Four is in Houston. There will be two games on Saturday and one on Monday. Yes, it sucks that UH did not make it (or at least UT) and these might not be the sexiest four teams. But the event is about more than the games themselves.
And it is all in our city. There is a lot available for you to do besides go to the games.
Fanfest. A four-mile run. Dunk contests. Yes, the games are the thing, but there are plenty of things available for fans to do to be entertained.
One of the cool things that is not always publicized is the coaches’ convention, where coaches from all over the country attend seminars, interact and learn.
Over the last few days, I have been fortunate enough to meet many of them from all walks of life. High school coaches, lower level college coaches, and one top assistant at a major school that was a high seed that had a chance to reach the Final Four. They are all in town to learn, network and look forward to what is next.
One of the high school coaches is in an area that is high-risk. He has students he is trying to keep off the street while teaching them basketball. He is here to meet with other coaches in the same situation and learn more about doing that. He comes every year and learns something new. He is an admirable man who makes a difference in his community.
The high-level assistant will get a head coaching job in the next year. He has learned from some of the best and will be a hot name. He is here to network and figure out the best move. He also spends time teaching other coaches to get them to his level.
Van Chancellor, a former coach himself, wrote about FAU’s Dusty May, an inspiration.
But there are hundreds of other great stories in our city right now. All you have to do is say hello, strike up a conversation and you will hear them. These are inspiring people who are about a lot more than X’s and O’s – they are about teaching and learning and are all about their kids.
We are blessed in Houston to have Kelvin Sampson. But there are hundreds of good, hard working people out there trying to accomplish the same thing at a variety of levels. If you are fortunate enough to meet one this week, spend a few minutes learning what they are about. You will feel better about humanity in general.
When you meet the people out there shaping future lives, you will be inspired. All of them are in town to learn, teach and be inspired as well. And it is easy. It might be at your favorite restaurant or bar or wandering the streets downtown. Many of them are in town by themselves. Show a little Southern hospitality and you might be inspired, too.
For me, that is the best part of the Final Four and its side events.
If you are lucky, you will get to experience it, too.