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Exhibits Of Unity At NCAA Tournament

Written by Posted On Friday, 16 April 2021 00:00

Perhaps you noticed the word “Unity” painted on the floor at Lucas Oil Stadium during the semifinal game of March Madness between UCLA and Gonzaga. Surely, if you watched that game, you also noticed that both teams played with excellent unity to the point that, in the opinion here, neither team lost – only at the end Gonzaga had 3 more points than UCLA. Credit must go to each team for an exciting game.

You probably noticed the unity and excellent work of the CBS announcing crew of Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, and Bill Raftery, along with the CBS camera crew to capture all the exciting action. Allow me to add that the officiating crew of the three-game officials allowed the players enough latitude to perform well. Another example of unity. Allow me to also point out that official Ron Groover made a courageous charging call against a Bruin dribbler in the overtime that gave the ball to Gonzaga. The charging/blocking foul is the most difficult to call in all of basketball.

Surely you noticed the buzzer-beater shot by Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs that bounced off the glass, then the front rim and dropped through as time expired, which was the margin of victory. It was one of the most exciting finishes in March Madness history!

However, did you also notice Gonzaga coach Mark Few as the buzzer-beater dropped through? He got up, turned to his left and walked toward Mick Cronin, UCLA’s head coach to offer his condolences and congratulations on a great game. Coach Few didn’t run on the court to celebrate with his players, but his first gesture was of concern for a colleague who had just lost a heartbreaker. Pardon the pun, but there are “few” who would do that.

It is important to mention that the final game of the NCAA Women’s final four produced another winner for Tara VanDerveer, head coach of the Stanford Cardinal who won her first championship since 1992. Coach VanDerveer is of the same sportsmanship (oops, change that to sportwomanship) as Mark Few.

My point in Unity is that we can have competition – striving to win – without name-calling and animosity. We must remember that we are all in the same activity. Then unity can happen!

Will you strive for unity in every aspect of your life?

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Dr. Jim Tunney

Jim Tunney had an exemplary career in sports. A former high school coach, teacher, principal and district superintendent, he had a 40-year career in officiating football and basketball.

Thirty-one of those years he was an NFL Referee working a record twenty-nine post-season games including four Super Bowls, ten NFC/AFC Championship games, six Pro Bowls and twenty-five Monday Night Games.

He officiated some of the most memorable games in NFL history. His book Impartial Judgment: “The Dean of NFL Referees” Calls Pro Football As He Sees It, chronicles his NFL career.

As a Professional Speaker, he is Past President of The National Speakers Association and a Charter Member of its most prestigious group – The CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame. Jim holds every professional designation of the NSA, including the Oscar of Professional Speaking – The Cavett. NSA named him Philanthropist of the Year in 2007.

Dr. Tunney (a doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California) continues to serve his community as  Trustee Emeritus of both Monterey Peninsula College and York School; where he once served as Headmaster. In 1993, he founded the Jim Tunney Youth Foundation to support local community programs that develop leadership, work skills, wellness and self-esteem in youth. He and his wife Linda live in Pebble Beach, California. They have six children and sixteen grandchildren.

As an author he has written and/or co-authored thirteen books: Impartial Judgment, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan’s Soul, Speaking Secrets of the Masters, You Can Do It!, Super Bowl Sunday, Insights into Excellence, Lessons in Leadership, Build a Better You and his most recent book, It’s the Will, Not the Skill.

If you are looking for a keynote speaker who educates, motivates and entertains with a lifetime of stories about leadership, team building and sports 831-595-3258.

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