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Gary Daniels
[1970]

School: Cleveland

Sports Played: Football, Baseball

High School Honors: Football: 2-year letter winner; 2nd Team All-PIL as a Senior. Baseball: 2-year letter winner; 2nd Team All-PIL as a Junior; All-State Honorable Mention as a Junior; 1st Team All-PIL and State as a Senior; State Metro All-Star game.

Post High School Career: Yavapai Junior College in 1970; all-conference catcher. Lewis & Clark College Baseball 1972-74. Played professional Baseball for the Portland Mavericks in 1974. Fifteen years as a High School and College Basketball official. Past President/CEO of Johnstone Supply Inc.

Commentary:

My working career has been primarily in management and leadership roles in the Wholesale Distribution sector culminating with the position of President/CEO of Johnstone Supply a national distributor growing it to $1.3 Billion in sales. Currently I am part owner in 2 businesses and also doing some consulting work for small family owned businesses.

I was asked a few years ago to address the scholar athletes at Cleveland High to relate to them what high school athletics and academics meant to me then and during the course of my life. After considering this for quite awhile I broke it down into seven areas of impact.

  1. THE GAME itself: the memories of the sounds of the games, the smells associated with each sport that are easily identifiable and that you never forget. The feeling in your gut before during and after each game. We remember these rituals, the sounds, smells and taste the rest of our lives and they become flashbacks to great memories of our past.

  2. STRIVING: whether it be to win, for excellence, or to improve yourself the accomplishments that we “strived” for shaped how our life path would be directed for the future and beyond. It developed a discipline in us that become part of the fabric of who we became as adults.

  3. SPORTSMANSHIP: learning to care more about being decent and playing well rather than ”winning at any cost” — to win and lose with dignity. This was so much bigger than how you conduct yourself on the floor or field — it was the question of who you wanted to be, who you would become, and what clarified you as a person.

  4. TEAMWORK: to learn that rarely does one person win or lose a game. That to win it takes a team and to be a teammate is one of the most bonding, exhilarating and fulfilling experiences in life. Throughout life you come to realize that each individual honor or triumph is a by-product of a team working together.

  5. LOSS: teaching yourself how to cope with the loss of a game, an average season, or a personal bad day or game — so that you would be able to deal with the inevitable losses down the road that would prove to be so much harder. The point was to use our experiences in sports to not only bask in the glow of winning but more importantly feel what it is to experience loss and learned how to manage it, be taught by it, accept it gracefully and move on. Because it is after all just a game!

  6. FRIENDSHIP: there isn’t enough I could say about the friendships I have gained from team sports. The solidarity formed thru being part of a team as we formed our individual identifies as athletes, students and young adults. Teammates would grow and change, but those common bonds we created, those original shared experience, the love shared for one another, the respect we gained for each other would prove to last much longer than the memory of a bad game, a missed shot or an unsaved goal.

  7. IDENTITY: involvement in team sports happened during some of the most important and formative years of a young person's life and who we are today was shaped by each of the previous six factors. Learning to take responsibility for your own action or performance, to be accountable for what you do whether you win or lose, and learn from each experience is the hallmark of what being a student athlete meant to me.

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