Nolan Richardson was brash, but loving. Stern, but caring. The man from the Segundo Barrio left a lasting mark not only on the Sun City, but the entire college basketball world.
Richardson grew up in Central El Paso. He was a student of the game at Bowie High School. That’s where he would learn the tricks of the coaching trade from his college coach, Don Haskins. Richardson adapted the game to his style “40 minutes of hell.”
“Fatigue will make cowards of us all,” Richardson said. “I got that saying from a guy by the name of Vince Lombardi, and all my teams, I pride myself in playing hard.”
Richardson is a member of the Texas and Arkansas Halls of Fame. He was elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2014. He used that spotlight to tell his story.
“You have to have a team to reach a dream. Everybody can dream and never reach it. I was a pretty good athlete, I didn’t know anybody better than me, to be honest with you, in any sport,” Richardson said.
He also used that opportunity to have a little fun.
“My wife, she’s a point guard. She points out everything I do wrong,” Richardson said to a room full of laughter.
Richardson never forgets his roots. He holds basketball camps and golf tournaments in El Paso nearly every year.