Coach Carter gives motivational lecture
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 16:08
Ken Carter, a nationally known high school basketball coach, who was the inspiration behind a 2005 film starring Samuel L. Jackson, gave a lecture Tuesday night at the Student Union Theatre.
Coach Carter gave a motivational lecture in which he shared his life story, history as a basketball coach and what he claimed are keys to success. One point he frequently stressed was for people to write down their goals, saying he wrote down when he was a kid that one day a movie was going to be made about him, which was realized 35 years later.
“If you write down your goals, they’re ten times as likely to come true,” Carter said. Carter also said that access to information is essential, along with putting it to good use. He once motivated his women’s basketball team to win a championship game by promising he would take them shopping, because that was what they desired.
He spoke specifically to his audience, stating the importance of college education and what needs to get done to get what one wants, which he knew for college students was to earn a lot of money. “You don’t make money, you earn money,” Carter said. He interacted with several students, and was unafraid to state his opinions, right down to his disapproval of men wearing earrings. He discouraged negativity, and stated in order for us to achieve, we have to make decisions and cannot settle for an average result. While he was serious in his message, he had a very relaxed tone and injected humor into many of his monologues. He compared his lecture to a woman’s dress, “Long enough to cover the basics, but short enough to keep your interest.”
Carter acquired national fame as the basketball coach for Richmond High School in California. He put academics ahead of sports, and would go as far as forfeiting games when his team was behind on their studies. The story of his 1999 season was made into a 2005 film with Carter portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson, which was a box office success and received critical praise. Carter said in his lecture the film was “98.5%” accurate, with the only major difference being Jackson is 12 years older than him.
Megan Frost, an 8th-semester economics major said, “My basketball coach made my team watch ‘Coach Carter’ when we were going into the second round of the state finals. It’s cool to meet him after inspiring my team.”
Carter has since written six books, and opened his own school Texas for students in poverty.
Student reaction to Carter was very positive. Amy Chea, an 8th-semester speech, language and hearing disorders major said, “He was hysterical and inspirational, but it was subliminally inspirational. He reached out to our generation pretty well. It’s not easy to talk to a group of college students like us.”
Vijay Kodumudi, a 2nd-semester biology major said, “He gave good advice for getting through tough times in life. He said everything’s not going to be easy.”
Victoria Kallsen, head of the SUBOG lecture committee, who organized the event, said she got Carter because, “He is the perfect blend of education and entertainment, sports and academics. He was a powerful speaker and SUBOG was very happy to bring him.”
Carter ended his lecture by having all audience members stand and follow a series of physical commands, in what he called his stimulus package. Afterward he explained he did it so whenever one tells about his lecture, they can say, “He made me rise to my feet, raise both of my hands, he touched my heart and he turned me around.”