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DALLAS - The hugs, the handshakes, the God-blesses were too many to count. J.D. Mayo's own gym dedication at Skyline high school started late because he had to say hello to everyone.

Everyone included family and friends, former co-workers, college basketball coaches (current and former), NBA guard C.J. Miles, and so many more.

These people are lifers, Mayo said. And they're there for me, and I try to be there for them.

The gym was built as part of a Dallas ISD 2008 bond program and gives Skyline a true home court. That's rare, as nearly all DISD schools play in shared arenas.

Their home will bear the name of a man who impacted the lives of countless student athletes.

He cares about kids, like they're God's children, said former college basketball coach Fran Frashilla, who currently works as an analyst for ESPN. The demographics of Skyline high school have obviously changed, but it doesn't matter. This is his family.

Coach Mayo spent 33 years as the head coach at Skyline, won 698 games and his approach never changed: it has always been old-school.

Gary Blair, who used to coach at South Oak Cliff and is now the head coach for the Texas A&M women's team, said Mayo did it all.

There's a lot of people that want to coach the game, but they do not want to teach the game or be able to discipline the kids to do the right thing all the time, Blair said.

During his remarks the the assembled crowd, Mayo thanked as many individuals as he could for being there. He also took a moment to say something to his former player, C.J. Miles, who is a guard for the Utah Jazz.

It's already been mentioned that CJ is here, said Mayo from the podium. I do have one request CJ -- if you would tuck your shirttail in...

With that, everyone laughed, and Miles smiled and retreated to a corner of the gym to tuck in his white dress shirt. He then told a story from his high school days.

My freshman year of high school, when I first got here, he caught me with my shirt untucked, said Miles, and he pulled me in front of his class -- it was full of seniors -- and he took my pants, and he stuffed my shirt into my pants, in front of his whole class.

Mayo now coaches at Nocona, a small school about 100 miles northwest of Dallas. His life has changed, but he hasn't.

And remember to be kinder than necessary, Mayo said during his remarks. And love more than you have to. Leave the rest of it to the big coach.

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com

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