"I learned my basketball on the playgrounds of Brooklyn. Today, being a playground player is an insult. It means all you want to do is go one-on-one, it means your fundamentals stink and you don't understand the game. But the playgrounds I knew were tremendous training grounds."
Lenny Wilkens did not play high school basketball until his senior year at Brooklyn's Boys High, but he went on to a spectacular career as a player at Providence College and in the National Basketball Association. His achievements as as a professional basketball player are paralleled by his remarkable record as a coach.
In 1995, as Head Coach of the Atlanta Hawks, Lenny Wilkens surpassed Red Auerbach's record to become "the winningest coach in the history of professional basketball." The following year, he became the first coach in the history of the NBA to win over 1,000 games. He has been honored twice by the Basketball Hall of Fame, once as a player, and once as a coach. He was only the second person to receive this double honor, following legendary UCLA coach John Wooden.