Q: Previous inductees to the Rising Stars Hall of Fame included Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson. Are only NBA legends eligible for consideration?
Paul Savramis: Not at all. There are several criterion for consideration and being a pro is not one of them. The most notable consideration is the candidate’s influence on Rising Stars programs, coaches, campers and their families. This form of acknowledgment also helps Rising Stars in teaching by example and in reinforcing the values that the organization holds dear. In the case of the three legends they were able to raise awareness of what we were doing in a way we could never imagine.
Q: How does Rising Stars measure a candidate’s impact?
Paul Savramis: The organization formed a committee of coaches, parents, administrators and current players. They hear testimony from the experienced Rising Stars officers, myself included as to how we feel this candidate impacted the Rising Stars vision. They then see how that testimony plays out in a presentation to the committee.
Q: The Hall of Fames first year’s inductees in 2010 were Coach John Wooden and Jim Valvano. Why were they chosen as inaugural inductees?
Paul Savramis: During the initial discussions about the Hall of Fame, the committee tossed around a number of ideas. The one thing not up for discussion was the identity of the first candidate. After all, Coach Valvano was the major reason for the development of the Hall of Fame and Coach Wooden exemplified Rising Stars. (youtube.com/watch?v=HuoVM9nm42E, espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8684465)
Q: Why was Coach Valvano and Coach Wooden a natural fit as the first Hall of Fame members?
Paul Savramis: Jimmy V. was my mentor. He took me under his wing as an early speaker and clinician of Rising Stars and shaped the way I would present myself. His approach of teaching important life’s skills mirrors everything both I and Rising Stars represents. Those same values are exemplified by the second Hall of Fame member selected for the Hall of Fame in 2010, Coach John Wooden. (coachwooden.com)
Q: What do you feel was one of Coach Wooden’s biggest influences?
Paul Savramis: Coach Wooden prepared his Pyramid for Success as a way to share values that he believed were essential to personality development. Along the way he laid down a foundation of values that we at Rising Stars embraced as our own. Many coaches forget that they are first and foremost teachers. Coaching is more than a job; it’s a vocation.