Bradley Saad

Guard 2013-2016

May 10, 2016

Senior Bradley Saad walks on the court for Senior Night against Frisco on Feb. 9, 2016.

Halle Barham

Senior Bradley Saad walks on the court for Senior Night against Frisco on Feb. 9, 2016.

To the man filled with quotes, Coach Eckert.

What if I told you, just about every practice during my spurt as a Varsity basketball player (3 years) started and ended with the same thing? Your first thought is that obviously practices start and end with stretching, running, or scrimmaging, but you’re wrong. Every Liberty practice was kicked off with an uplifting quote from Coach Eckert and wrapped up with an even more inspirational one. I was introduced to hundreds of quotes from hundreds of speakers ranging from basketball coaches to disciples in the Bible.

However, out of those hundred quotes, only one sums up my relationship with Coach Eckert: “The Pain of Regret is far worse than the Pain of Discipline.”

From the early summer mornings and the late school nights in the gym, the discipline was prominent in our relationship, but the regrets were not. Everything you approached on the court and off the court, you approached with the same mentality and faith, your intense preparation for everything prevented regrets. Without your preparation and dedication, I wouldn’t be anywhere near “regretless” and as a team we wouldn’t be near as successful.

As I looked up at the scoreboard and saw the time run off the clock in the Regional Semifinals against Lancaster, I knew my life would be haunted with the regret and disappointment of not winning a state championship. Somehow though, as the team cried in the locker room, you spoke with no regrets. You put everything you had into the preparation for that game and that’s all anyone could’ve ever ask for. I will always envy, that unlike anyone else in the room, you experienced failure and still won.

The past three years playing for you have been memorable. The fact that no matter what was going on, ups or downs, wins or losses, your door remained open. You took the reigns of a group of six best friends (Cam, B, Carter, X, Trey, and I), that had been playing together for the past six or so years, and coached us like we were family. Instead of separating us, you brought us closer together. Not only did you help us grow on the basketball court, you helped us grow off the court too. You were way more than a basketball coach to all of us.

On top of that, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to play this past year. You took a chance on a 5’10” guard, that can’t touch rim, and for that I am forever grateful. You gave me the opportunity to compete alongside my best friends and cherish every moment on that court. You ignored the stereotypes and established a path for me to succeed. For 32 minutes a night, I gave you everything I had, because I knew you were giving us everything you had.

So Coach Eckert, I want to thank you for eliminating all those regrets from my life without any notice. I want to thank you for believing in me as a basketball player when I didn’t believe in my own abilities. I want to thank for making me a better man and leader through faith and hardwork. I want to thank you for always demanding and pursuing perfection. I want to thank you for making me a better leader by displaying how a good leader acts. I want to thank you for turning a team of athletes into a family. I want to thank you for being my coach.

A quote for the man filled with quotes, “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” -Steve Jobs

Thank you for everything and God Bless,

Bradley Saad

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