Hey! My name is Nicolas Guardia, I am 16 years old. My position is right back, but I also play as a defensivemidfielder. My high school team is Colegio Brader, and I also play for Costa Del Este FC.
(somber guitar chord) – My first reaction was, “I’m gonna leave my daughter behind.” And then my next thought was, “I’ve gotta tell the team.” – After he told us, I felt, personally, I felt like it was just bigger than basketball. There’s no point of being mad on the basketball court, when, you know what I mean, like there’s bigger issues. – My relationship with the guys, I’ll never forget ’em. I think one of the things they definitely learned this year though is that we all can’t do this by ourselves. I’m not gonna quit. I’m gonna be here to give my daughter driving lessons, walk her down the aisle, all that stuff. Death is not a option to me. I’m not going anywhere. (uplifting synth music) (applause) – Everyone welcome Coach Danny O’Fallon, y’all! (hooting, applause) Whoo! You, you got me! Whew! Your determination is amazing. Where does it come from? – Honestly, it comes from my family. I grew up in an athletic family, from baseball players to basketball players and just the fun of playing sports and the determination to do your best whatever court, field, whatever you’re on, has always been part of our…
– Yeah! – Our motto. – Wow! That’s why you’re an amazing human, all right. Well, what made you have, what do you think made you have such an exceptional season? – My team, I was fortunate enough to have a great group of kids my first year there. When we won the title was only my second year at the school. – Wow. – And I was able to get
a great group of kids the first year. When we lost in the second round in the previous year, when they came back, their determination was just everything. And, you know, it was a kind of a situation where they just didn’t want to
take ‘no’ for an answer. It just kind of followed suit throughout the day. – How do you think that the team’s success helped you battle cancer? – Our motto, throughout the year, has always been, “Be about one-and-oh.” My players are not just players. They’re student-athletes, and they understand that
they’re students first and athletes second. – Amen, yeah. – And, so our motto being “one-and-oh,” is not just to win the game, it’s to win the day. And, you know, seize the day, seize the moment, and even when things like, situations like cancer get you down, you just do your best to battle through, and they helped me, along with my family helped me, every day, they’re all about being one-and-oh. – Do you think it helps, being productive, still, and just going on about
your business, so it doesn’t slow you down?
– Oh, yes, absolutely, I mean, yes, there’s days that I just can’t. But every chance I get, with, the love and care from my wife and my daughter, and of course, my guys, they’re like, “Coach,
you need to be here,” and I’m like, “Okay, I’m on my way, “I’m on my way.” – Yeah. – You know, they’re everything to me. – It’s beautiful, that’s beautiful. We know Coach O’Fallon loves his team but they love him, too, and wanted to tell him in person. Come on out, boys! (hollering, applause) Yeah! (whistling, clapping) – What’s up, Coach? – Oh, no! – Oh, guys… – What’s going on? – Aww. (applause) (whistling) – Oh, no… – Hi Coach, how you doing? – Oh my God! – What’s up, Coach? (clapping) – Y’all are such great guys! Like, you ran out and hugged! I hope my boys are like you. Okay. Tell Coach what he means to you. Why’d you want to be here? Tell him what he means to you. – Ever since day one. We didn’t have the best
patch at first, (laughs) but we got to learn and got real good with each other. At first, you know, how I wasn’t the best at taking criticism well (laughs) but… – No teenager is, by the way, but we all were, we all were you. (laughter) – But he pushed me where I didn’t think I could be pushed. Like, he seen that I had a lot of potential in me, and I didn’t see it, at first, and he just pushed me so hard, I, first I, you know, I didn’t really like, I was like, well, this guy, new coach, he’s trying to tell me
to do all this stuff. But it worked out all in the end, because– – He pushes you because
he believes in you, and he sees something that
you might not see, yet. – Yeah. – Yeah. So, has this, what do you admire about Coach O’Fallon? – He’s always been like, a great person. Even when he first came into the gym. I already noticed that he had a passion for basketball, you know? And the, most of the guys here have a passion for the game, too, and he’s always been like a second father to me. I always seen him as that. And then, his diagnosis and stuff, it was kind of sad. There was days when he couldn’t even, he couldn’t even stand, and he still managed to come in, which is really amazing of him. And he’s shown me that anything, that you can, with dedication and hard work you can overcome anything. (applause) – What does this mean to you? I mean, to make an impression on teenagers is already hard enough. And you’ve made an, an extreme one. – Well, like I said earlier, With these group here, just these individuals right here, they’re so special to me. And we, our motto, besides being one-and-oh, is that we always talked about being family. That’s you know, they are, they, till the day they go off and venture off into
other parts of the world, it’s like that, they’re always gonna be my family. They always know as long as I’m around, they can always reach out to me, and vice-versa. Matter of fact, it was so funny, I was having to think about
you guys this weekend, and I was just like, “I gotta text my guys, “just to see how they’re doing.” (audience member coos) But they, I mean, it’s been an honor and a pleasure to be a part of these, these young men’s lives.
– Yeah. (applause) Well, there’s someone else here who can’t wait to meet Coach O’Fallon. Come on out, Kobe! (whooshing) (uproarious applause) (fanfare) (boisterous applause) – That’s right! – Hi! How ya doing, Coach? – It’s a pleasure. – Oh, my gosh! – What’s up, young man? What’s up? What’s up? What’s up, man, how ya doing? What’s up? Yo, what’s going on, back here? What’s happening? (applause) – Oh my gosh! (laughs) I wish, wait, come on over here! Can y’all, you can sit right between. – All right. – Right here? – Oh my, okay, I wish we had a slow, like, motion camera on you, my man. He went, he heard me go, “Ko…” and he went, “What?” (laughter) He was like, he was so excited. What do you want to say to Coach O’Fallon? – I mean, it’s just extremely inspirational, when we talk about, sometimes we get caught up in the world of sports and thinking about the significance of each game, but not understanding that the game is, pales in comparison to life. And the lessons that we teach as coaches, and the inspirational message that he’s created for his players, the determination, the fighting, the belief, is something that’s, that’s way more valuable than
anything that you can learn from hitting the game-winning shot, or winning the NBA championship, or winning the high-school championship, whatever the case may be. So it’s just a true inspiration, man. – Thank you. – Any of y’all have any questions for Kobe, I’m just saying… (laughter) – Y’all caught me off guard. I was not– (laughter, clapping) Y’all told me Martha Stewart was gonna be here, it was like, you didn’t say nothing about Kobe, come on. Got my hands sweaty. – “My hands are sweating!” (laughs) (applause) No, but here’s the thing: he started out just like y’all, on a team, growing up playing ball, and you never know where you, I mean, I did the same thing in my field, you never know. It doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t matter how much money you have, that does not limit your dreams. And you can accomplish anything. And it doesn’t matter what’s
going on, you can do it. (applause)