An 84-year-old Korean War veteran who sacrificed his basketball dreams a long time ago is about to return to the sport.
On Veterans Day, Jack Morris learned he will get the chance of a lifetime to coach a Division I college team for one game.
Morris will be on the bench as an honorary coach beside Wofford College head coach Mike Young when the Terriers host a regular season game Nov. 25. Young gave Morris the news Tuesday during a surprise visit to the Spartanburg, South Carolina, assisted living home where Morris lives.
"We will give him an incredible experience and it will be a treat for all of us to have Jack along for the ride that day," Young told The Huffington Post.
Morris played high school basketball in Georgia and turned down college offers to support his family, the Spartanburg Herald Journal wrote. He then fought two years in the Korean War. Despite entreaties from his former high school coach to resume his basketball career when he returned, Morris took another route. He married in 1953, had three children and worked as a postman. His wife died two years ago. He told station WATE he has no regrets.
Now, thanks to a collaboration between Young, Eden Terrace assisted living, and Second Wind Dreams, a wish-fulfillment charity for the elderly, Morris can fulfill his goal of coaching college ball.
"I want him to be involved in as many things as time allows," Young told HuffPost. "I was told he tires easily, so we will have to keep an eye on that sort of thing, but I hope he can join us for shoot-around, pre-game meal, our final 'chalk-talk' before the players hit the floor. He will sit on the bench with us, but we’ll have to cocoon him with players in the event there is a collision near the bench."
Morris is ready for the special opportunity. He even predicted a victory.
"It's going to be an exciting day,” he told the Herald Journal. “I love the game. I lived to play basketball.”
H/T For The Win