DALLAS — Almost 20 years ago Dallas Lincoln High School made Texas-sized basketball history. The 2002 high school team went 40-0 en route to a Class 4A state and national championship. That team also boasted of a smart, tall, skinny kid from Hutchins named Chris Bosh, who will again make history.
“He’s a living embodiment of hard work and doing right by people,” said Leonard “Len” Bishop. Bishop played varsity basketball with Bosh for two years. His father Leonard Bishop was their coach at Dallas-Lincoln.
Bosh, the two-time NBA champion and 11-time All-Star, entered the NBA’s Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts on Saturday, Sept. 11.
“Legends aren’t defined by their successes. They’re defined by how they bounce back from their failures,” Bosh said in a riveting 17-minute speech.
That speech was given in front of his family, friends, former coaches, former teammates, and past NBA greats he calls his “heroes.” But Saturday was also a celebration of his roots.
“A team from a public school in south Dallas with no air conditioning in the gym achieved that against all odds,” Bosh said.
Bosh would go through a list of his coaches over his more than two-decade-old basketball career. He specifically named his high school coaches Leonard Bishop and Coach Douglas from Dallas-Lincoln and asked the audience for applause.
“That was a really big moment, a really big moment. He didn’t have to do that,” said Leonard Bishop, who is now a women’s basketball coach with Stephen F. Austin University.
He was humble even at a time he didn’t have to be. In Saturday’s speech, Bosh mentioned the many times he cried over basketball, especially over lost high school games and NBA finals losses. “They weren’t endings, they were beginnings. They weren’t moments that made me want to stop working, they were moments that want me to work even harder,” he said on Saturday.
Bosh even mentioned the medical condition that ended his playing career. A blood-clotting condition was ruled a career-ending illness which meant he played his last game in 2016.
Over a more than two-decade basketball career Bosh has been no stranger to accolades. In December, he will be inducted into the school district’s hall of fame. Dallas ISD will honor Bosh and nine other former district athletes in a virtual ceremony.
“We’re just so blessed and lucky that Dallas-Lincoln is part of his chapter and story and I know there is so much to come after basketball,” said Silvia Salinas, the executive director of athletics for Dallas ISD.
“If there was a Mount Rushmore of D-FW players, he is definitely on it,” Len Bishop said.