Tournament title personal for McBride, EHS mentor
Basehor-Linwood boys basketball coach Mike McBride received a text message from his coaching mentor on Saturday morning.
Hours before the Bobcats’ game against Word of Life in the championship game of the Emporia Tournament, former Emporia basketball coach Rick Bloomquist sent McBride a text wishing him well in the title game. He said it was fitting that McBride’s team would be playing in the final championship game of the Emporia Invitational.
Bloomquist won the first title game in the tournament, and the two go back to McBride’s college days.
McBride learned the game of basketball, life lessons and what he wanted to do with his life from Bloomquist.
McBride started his coaching career at Emporia. He was a student at Emporia State University and went to Bloomquist looking to get involved with basketball.
Bloomquist recognized McBride’s name from his playing days at El Dorado High School and gave him a chance to help with the program.
“Yep, he is the one that took me up out of college and gave me a chance,” McBride said. “He liked my desire even though I didn’t know what was going on. He gave me a passion for the rest of my life.”
McBride worked his way up as an assistant, coaching the freshman team his senior year in college. He took a job coaching in Missouri after graduating from Emporia State.
Eventually, he got the job coaching at Basehor-Linwood.
Throughout his career, he has stayed in contact with Bloomquist.
“He was always there for me, even today when I need something,” McBride said.
Friendships are what make coaching special, McBride said.
“It’s about people giving each other a path to take; you teach life lessons,” he said. “That is what it is all about; that is what basketball is all about. That is what he taught me. We teach kids how to be young men first, then win second. We try to win, but there is a way to do it.”
Bloomquist stepped down after last season. He is retired for now from coaching. Emporia is canceling the tournament after this season.
In place of the tournament, Basehor-Linwood is scheduling games against Sumner Academy and Topeka Hayden.