This Athens basketball coach truly knows what it means to be a fighter both on and off the court. The head coach of the undefeated Athens Christian basketball team was recently diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS. But despite the disease, Coach Ron Link says he is determined to get his team to state. Regardless, every game that this team makes it to is something to remember….and not just because of their undefeated record.
“One team, one dream” -Ron Link
The Athens Christian basketball team looks unstoppable. The team is 20-0 and will advance to the Regions tournament next week. But Coach Link likes his odds of winning…against the other team…and against the disease that threatens to take his life.
Coach Link said, “They [medical community] say you’ve got a 5% chance of beating it [ALS].. Well I’ve got a 5% or less chance to win games and we did.”
Coach Link’s motto both on and off the court is to survive and advance.
Ron Link told his players, “you’ll always give me 100% and I want to give you 100%. If the time comes when I can’t give you 100% then I’ll quit.”
Coach Link says he will give everything he has left to his team.
Giving your all is a lesson player William Jackson said he learned from his coach. Jackson is a senior basketball player on the team who will play for the University of Georgia next year. UGA bound Jackson said, “He’s taught me a lot in life, more than just basketball. He has made be a better person, a better man and that’s why I respect Coach Link more than anything else.”
Despite all of their success, Coach Link insists that he is more concerned with making his players into better men than about winning state. Link said, “Our goal is to get our kids to play the best that they can play and be proud of themselves when they leave the gym no matter what the outcome.”
The Eagles under Link’s coaching will play their final regular season game against Providence at home at 8:30 tomorrow night.
Tune in tonight to see Sports Anchor Mallory Blount bring you an inside look to the inspiring story.