Coach Haskins encourages his players with determination, “Right now
it is not about talent. It is about heart,” leaving the Miners excited but
prepared. At the same time, while players of the University of Kentucky
Wildcats stand around their coach waiting for the command, the
legendary Coach Rupp, who must have been shocked by the
performance of Haskins’s players like the rest of the audience at the
game, only offers some basic encouragement and repeats, “This is a
special team.” The compliment from the opposition sets the tone for
the win.
The movie recounts the true progress of the game that took
place in 1966 (including the two crucial steals by Bobby Joe Hill) and
ends with an interview with the real players from both teams, including
Pat Riley. Riley is a former coach and player in the National Basketball
Association who has been the team president of the Miami Heat since
1995. His tries to convey the importance of this particular game, “I feel
that this game was probably the Emancipation Proclamation of 1966,
and it was not until history started to talk about this game, you know,
in that context that we realized we were part of something that was
bigger than just five blacks and five whites.” As a huge basketball fan, I
would frankly say that while I personally prefer the incredible plays of
NBA, NCAA, and other tournaments, and fans must thank Coach
Haskins’s courage and resolution in launching a new style of play
because none of the stars would fly insouciantly under all the flashes
without the influence of his courage and vision. Haskins and his team
have left their footprints in the historical vicissitudes of basketball,
which is depicted beautifully in Glory Road.
All of the three coaches in these films have achieved splendid
accomplishments through several similarities as they lead their teams.
There are similarities in their approaches to some great coaches with
strict rules today, like Gregg Popovich, who leads the San Antonio
Spurs. “The authoritarian leader is characterized by strong discipline,
rigidity of rules, hierarchical authority, and impersonal attitude toward
subordinates” (Pratt and Eitzen 311). What coaches in the movies and
on the court hold most important in their leadership of the team is
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