Bob Knight's legacy looms large at Indiana. Same goes for Army, where he launched his coaching career, and at Texas Tech, where he ostensibly ended it after leaving his son Pat Knight in charge. But who knew Knight's coaching influence went all the way to China?
It's true: Bob Donewald -- the son of one of Knight's former assistants, Bob Donewald Sr. -- is the new head coach of the Chinese men's national team. Donewald the son is the current coach of the Shanghai Sharks, the Chinese team owned by Yao Ming. He replaces former Chinese coach Guo Shiqiang, who lost his job after losing to Iran in the Asia Championship Final last year when Yao was injured. This seems entirely unfair, since China basketball basically is Yao, but hey, losing to Iran on the basketball court is a dubious result.
Anyway, Donewald's father was on Bob Knight's staff during Indiana's historic undefeated 1976 season. He later took a job at Illinois State, where he was the first coach to lead the Redbirds to the NCAA tournament. And then he had a son, and now that son is the most important coach in a country most people think will be the biggest up-and-coming player in the international hoops scene in the next three decades. Lots of college coaching trees -- Dean Smith's, Mike Krzyzewski's -- have spread to every corner of the country, but rarely do you find one quite this international.