Finally-The Story of Basketball's First Great Coach

Since the birth of basketball in the YMCA's of New England at the dawn of the 20th century, the game has known many great coaches. Each makes his own contributions to the sport, others learn from his successes and build on what they've learned to make their own mark on the game. However, there was a time when there was no one to learn from, no successes to emulate.

Someone had to be first.

When basketball was in its infancy, many men saw the sport's potential for building physical fitness and good character in young men. But one man possessed the rare combination of skill, passion and charisma that came together in unique circumstances to produce basketball's first great coach. Ernest Blood developed a system of training boys that dominated basketball in a way like none other before or since. Affectionately called Professor Blood-or "Prof" Blood for short-the game's first coaching phenom amassed a mind-boggling 159-game win streak spanning five years with his teams at New Jersey's Passaic High School. It was no wonder his teams were dubbed the "Wonder Teams."

Like many transcendent success stories, this one is rife with controversy and adversity, jealousy, and battles of wills. At the heart of it all, though, you will find a coach whose greatness is not merely measured by his extraordinary record, but also by his deep love of the game, unquestionable values and a desire to help boys become men of integrity and honor.

This is his story.