(see link below to view). With seven seconds on the clock the ball was passed into Danny Ainge. Ainge, who was named the national collegiate player of the year and won the John R. Wooden Award, drives down the court past all five Notre Dame players and lays the ball in for the game winning shot that advanced his team to the Elite 8. Still to this day that is the furthest the Cougars have ever made it in the NCAA Tournament. This amazing play was only the start to a great career for Ainge. He went on to be drafted by the Boston Celtics where won two NBA Championships and finished his career with 11,964 career points.
Moving on in his career he was an NBA coach for the Phoenix Suns for three years and more recently became the general manager of the Boston Celtics in 2003 and eventually compiled a team that won the 2008 NBA Championship.
As if managing an NBA Championship team wasn't enough for Ainge he was called to be the Bishop of the Massachusetts Weston 1st Ward right after the NBA Finals. Ainge, who had been in the bishopric already for five years said he had thought there would be some changes but this wasn't quite what he had thought. “But, honestly, there was no way they were going to call me, with my schedule, to be a bishop,” he says. “I had my doubts when they called me to be bishop, but I think that it will just compel me to find balance even more.” said Ainge. Ainge's daughter commented on her parents and her Dad's new calling by saying “despite the time and effort they are about to start putting into this ward, they are excited and eager to serve. It has been a great reminder of what great people my parents are and how blessed I am to have such great examples.” Michael Dowling a sportscaster in Ainge's ward and one of Ainge's home teaching families said “A lot of people are going to find out exactly how good of a guy he is and how much he cares about people. He’s our home teacher, and he really looks out for my boys . . . as a home teacher and a bishop would.” Ainge says, “The service element helps me to balance my life, and to buoy me up”
It's great to see how a faithful member of the church is able to balance both his love and career of basketball with the dedication to his faith and serving his ward members as a Bishop. There is no doubt that Danny Ainge is someone we could all look up to and learn from his example of finding balance in our lives.
Danny Ainge Coast to Coast Game Winning Drive VS. Notre Dame
Quotes taken from The Mormon Times and BYU Magazine