Recently, I saw a picture of Barry Bellchambers with his basketball teammates in the newspaper. It brought back many memories from those times – especially the basketball games at the F.H. Collins gymnasium.
I do not know where the expression “white men can’t jump” came from, but they obviously never met Barry. There could be nothing more frightening nor a worse place to be in life than a guard on the defending team when Barry got that ball. On receiving the offensive pass, Barry would turn and start off towards the opposing team’s basket with tremendous conviction and such resolve there was no doubt in anyone’s mind what would happen next.
The defenders clung to faint hope as Barry, the Tasmanian Devil, might falter or stumble, or they would hope beyond hope that somehow he just might miss. Barry most always did not miss.
I saw Barry and Maggie out for dinner with several of their old basketball teammates and their wives (who also played) just a few weeks before Barry passed away. What a flashback that was. It was 40 years earlier that everyone was on the basketball court. On departing the restaurant I actually stopped at their table and quipped “You better not be late for the game” to which everyone laughed.
As I drove home, it dawned on me that Barry Bellchambers had one other quality too that made him unique on the basketball court.
Barry bounded. Anyone who remembers those days knows exactly what I am talking about. He took huge strides and seemed to float through the air while forcibly dribbling from altitude. When the layup came (it always came) it was the pinnacle of Barry’s focus – the apex of his determination, conviction and confidence.
And so too was this the way for Barry in business. Barry bounded in business just like he did in basketball.
Just look at what he did over the years. Barry bounded from one business adventure to another – bounding from success to success. Amazing entrepreneurial endeavours like the submarines.
Remember when he said he would turn the old drab YWCA into a hotel, and we all said he was crazy?
Barry would summon and harness the same determination, conviction and confidence he used on the basketball court as he charged ahead bounding to business success.
Universities ought to offer an MBB degree (Masters of Business Bounding) and it should be wholly and solely fashioned after Barry Bellchambers.
I will always remember Barry the Bounder.