Self talks about being elected to Hall of Fame

Shay Wildeboor, Editor
Jayhawk Slant

Kansas head coach Bill Self answered questions at the Final Four today about being elected to the Hall of Fame.

We have the answers from Self at the gathering.

Question: Just your emotions when you got the call, what your thoughts were when John Doleva, the president of the Hall of Fame, called to deliver you the good news.

I was alone in my car. And I was literally getting ready to pull into the office parking garage. And I got a call from John. So instead of pulling in, I went straight and I turned right on a road. I just thought of this, right when he was talking to me I was on Naismith Drive.And so I was overcome as well. And I thought I was prepared either way and been fine with either way. And certainly proud. But I was overcome as well. I had to pull off the road and visit.

But the thing that I think hit me the soonest was the journey. And certainly how many people have played a significant role in helping me and putting me in a position. And the more I thought about that, the list just grows and grows and grows. And certainly very humbled by it.

Question: As you look back on the journey is there someone you'll be thinking of specifically as you look at the journey?

I would say with me, there's been so many. Of course my family, first and foremost, and with that being said, my mother and father. My sister and myself was very spoiled, not knowing it at the time, that we had a chance to sit across the dinner table from the best role models a kid could have every night.

And certainly so proud of all the sacrifices that they've made and so many have made to put me in a position to chase my dream. And certainly I also think of all the players, the great ones and the not so great ones, that have sacrificed so much because they believed in what we've been doing and all the assistant coaches as well that have basically performed at such a high level that gave us a chance.

Question: There's like three or four pages in the Kansas media guide about Kansas coaches, players, administrators who are in the Naismith Hall of Fame. I'm just wondering, can you share what that means to you, to be among one of those, in that group?

Well, I really believe the most special thing about coaching at Kansas is to be a part of maybe as tradition-rich program as there is in college basketball. Of course it all started with Dr. Naismith being our first coach.When you think about -- I've got a picture in my office with Dr. Allen, Phog Allen, the father of basketball coaching, as head coach. And sitting next to him was his assistant, James Naismith. And sitting behind him was a point guard named Adolph Rupp.

There's not many places that can do that. When I came to Kansas I realized I'm not going to be the best coach that coached there. Phog Allen did. And anybody we recruit to be the player there will play there. Wilt played there.

And so to be part of something that's so much bigger than an individual ever will be, and to be -- your role while you're there is to be a caretaker. Something that is much bigger than yourself is something I've always taken unbelievable pride in.

Question: Bill, just as you're at this reflective time, can you speak to why you coach? What is it you get out of coaching? What drives you? And here you are, you've got some years in front of you, but you've already had this achievement. What sparks you now?

I think more than anything what sparks me is competition. I love the competition. I love being in tough moments, knowing that we're not always going to finish on top. I love coaching young men that basically put both feet in and trust you to the point where they'll do just about anything you ask them to do. And trying to get teams to play and compete as close to what their ceiling is as you possibly can. And I think that's a challenge every day.

I also think about the game. The more you think you know, the more you realize you don't know. Because the game changes daily. It changes yearly and the challenge of always trying to become better is much more significant than what I think a lot of people out there think it is.

What to Read Next