Sunday, April 3 2011 8:28 AM EDT2011-04-03 12:28:11 GMT
Former University of Memphis basketball coach and player Larry Finch died Saturday, his family confirmed.More >>
We pay tribute to Larry Finch this week for all that he did for Memphis during his life.
Finch will be best remembered for helping get Memphis State to the NCAA title game against UCLA in 1973, but his greatest gift to Memphis may have been selecting Memphis State as the school where he wanted to play basketball.
Finch made that decision shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., He elected to stay in a community that was racially divided at the timeand then he went on to provide our community with a unifying force.
Many people who should know think he's the best basketball player ever to play at the University of Memphis. He continued his allegiance to Memphis State as a coach, leading his teams to six playoff appearances while at the same time motivating his players to finish their college educations. His friends say he did all this with good humor, always smiling and laughing.
The last 14 years were not as kind to Larry Finch. That should be a reminder to all of us to relish the good times while we're living them. Health issues can rob any of us at any time.
That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment or anything else, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-465-1210.