Learning From Past Adversity; Humbled in Present Victory

I'm thankful in a way for what happened because it did, it drew me closer, most importantly, to my faith in the Lord.

I hope that it’s a message for some people out there that there can be hope and joy and resiliency. I’m thankful for what happened. That’s why I did what I did at the end. When that horn went off, I just put my head down and said, Thank You. I’m humbled, Lord, because I don’t deserve to be in this spot, but You chose me to be here, and I’ll give thanks.

 

Comments by Coach Tony Bennett on April 8, 2019, after the University of Virginia men’s basketball team won the National Championship:

If you learn to use it right, the adversity, it will buy you a ticket to a place you couldn’t have gone any other way. I don’t know, maybe we could have, but I don’t know, going through what we did last year and having to — you know, it helped me as a coach. All the stuff that they talked about, I think, bought us a ticket to a National Championship…You have a scar, and it reminds you of that, but it’s a memory. Does it go away completely? No, I wish it wouldn’t have happened in some ways. Now I say, well, it bought us a ticket here. So be it.

I’m thankful in a way for what happened because it did, it drew me closer, most importantly, to my faith in the Lord, drew me closer to my wife and children, just because you realize what’s unconditional. In those spots when the world’s telling you you’re a failure, you’re a loser, and you’re the worst thing going, and all that stuff, you say, okay, what really matters? And it pushed me to that in a way…I just — I think there was a bigger plan going on here, and I didn’t need it, but I was used in it. I hope that it’s a message for some people out there that there can be hope and joy and resiliency. I’m thankful for what happened. That’s why I did what I did at the end. When that horn went off, I just put my head down and said, Thank You. I’m humbled, Lord, because I don’t deserve to be in this spot, but You chose me to be here, and I’ll give thanks.

And I told our guys in the locker room, I said put your arms around each other, take a look at every guy in here, look at each other. Promise me you will remain humble and thankful for this. Don’t let this change you. It doesn’t have to…stay humble and stay thankful. It’s a great story. That’s probably the best way I can end this. It’s a great story.