The usual weekly conference call of Pac-10 basketball coaches was held today. Oregon State's Craig Robinson wasn't there, for reasons noted in the post below. However, the other African-American coaches were asked about their thoughts of seeing Barack Obama sworn in as president this morning:
OREGON coach Ernie Kent, on whether he thought he's live to see the day:
"I want to say no, because you just don't think that way with where our country's been in the past. But I think that question is more appropriately asked of my mom who just turned 80. And Dr. King would have been 80 also. And I put that question to her and her response, she said never in my lifetime did I ever expect to see that. But then again she said never in my lifetime did I think I'd see one of my kids in the position you're in today."
STANFORD's Johnny Dawkins:
I think it's an amazing moment in time. Like everyone, I think, I was glued to the television and of course very proud of our new president and the course he wants to take our country in. ... It's one of those things that it shows through time and progress things to change and anything is possible. That's the thing I do take from him being named president, is I think for all Americans there is a realization that you can be whatever it is that you choose to be. At some point in time I think you hoped for that, but you weren't certain if it was really possible. Having Barack Obama being named president, I think for everyone in our country it's a feeling of, you know what, if you put your mind to it and if you dream of it, you can do it.
UW coach Lorenzo Romar:
"As I was watching I was a little overwhelmed. Having grown up in Compton, Calif., … battling through racism – it's wasn't as bad as a lot of other people, but I experienced it myself. You get a feeling from a lot of people around you that we can only go so far. A lot of times in our communities – in African-American communities – you've got men 40 years old who can't look you in the eye, their self-esteem is so low. And to see now what we have here with our new president, it's pretty special seeing that. It was awesome."