Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin and Roseville Today Local Events

Basketball Coaching Legend Don Meyer



On September 5, 2008, Don Meyer, the men's basketball coach at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, was heading up a convoy of six cars toward a team preseason retreat. Apparently falling asleep at the wheel, Meyer drifted over a lane and hit a semi-truck head-on going 50 mph. In the crash, all his left-side ribs were broken, he lost his spleen and parts of his intestines, and he endured multiple compound fractures of his left leg. Two weeks later, doctors amputated that leg below-knee.

As if that wasn't enough, when opening him up, surgeons discovered cancer in his liver. At the time, 64-year-old Meyer was only 11 victories shy of passing Bobby Knight as the all-time win leader in men's college basketball history.

"I wouldn't be alive today if it hadn't been for the team," Meyer said in a telephone interview. "I owe them an awful lot. They were right there, keeping me awake (until help arrived) and dialing 911 to get the helicopter there. Now they still keep me going. I don't think about all this other stuff (such as cancer and an amputation) when I'm thinking about them."

Using a manual wheelchair, Coach Meyer returned to his job for a November 18 contest against Mount Marty College, a 98-57 victory.

Where does he get his strength? "I have to be strong for our team now," he said. "When alone with my wife, I might not be as strong, and I might break down and cry and wonder how I'm going to deal with (the cancer). When you are with people you work with, it's easier to be strong."

He expressed a much greater appreciation, understanding, and empathy for below-knee amputees. He doesn't have all the answers, he said, and has been just as scared as anyone would be. He lamented not being able to do many things once taken for granted, such as taking the old newspapers out for recycling to help his wife. Around home, he uses a walker as much as possible.

As for passing Knight, Meyer said, "The only important thing now is the next practice. It's a day by day thing. It's the team at hand that's the most important. If you take care of that, those other things (such as winning) will take care of themselves."

Next week: How Coach Meyer copes.

 


LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.

Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.

Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com



Placer County News Headlines

Rocklin Crime Report Digest Update (7-6-15)Rocklin, CA - Weekly crime report summary and digest update in Rocklin, CA.

Roseville Gas Prices: Find the Best DealsRoseville, CA - Finding the best deals on gas in Roseville is always one click away.

Free Spay and Neuter for all Placer County CatsRoseville, CA -With the arrival of hot summer weather, an increasing number of homeless kittens are arriving at area animal shelters

2016 Acura MDX retains luxury appeal2016 Acura MDX: Now in its seventh year of production by Honda's luxury division, the Acura MDX is one of many midsize luxury crossover sport utility vehicles

50 Days of the Grateful Dead: Estimated Prophet / Terrapin StationTonight in Chicago, the final show of Fare Thee Well, a celebration of 50 years of Grateful Dead's music takes place at Soldier Field

Smart Choice: Don't Drink and Drive Californians love to celebrate the Fourth of July with family, friends, food, and fireworks. All too often these celebrations and festivities turn tragic when someone decides

Quick Tips on Beating the HeatPlacer County public health officials are urging residents to take common-sense precautions so they and their families stay safe during this week's ongoing heat wave

Pet Safety Tips for 4th of JulyRoseville, CA - Fourth of July celebrations may be fun for you, but the pop, crackle and boom of fireworks can be terrifying for your pets.

West Nile Virus Concerns Heading into the 4th of JulyThe Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District reported today that five mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus this week

Folsom Opens Water Play in ParksThe City of Folsom announced that it will open water play features at three Folsom parks in time for the upcoming hot holiday weekend.

Free Hazardous Waste Drop-Off July 11thPlacer County, CA - Looking for a free and convenient way to dispose of hazardous wastes that are collecting around your house?

50 Days of the Grateful Dead: Throwing StonesThe Grateful Dead roll through a 10-minute version of Throwing Stones from Hampton, VA in October of 1989.


more news