For my coach, Buddhi.
Have you ever come across a person in your life who had a profound influence on you? Who brought the best out of you, challenged you, and encouraged you to keep fighting in life? Someone you hated at times because he spoke the truth?
But you needed to hear it in order to learn and grow.
I've been blessed to know a handful of people like that in my life but none with the HUGE heart and charisma of my coach, Noel "Buddhi" Bodaghi. Noel coached my "ragtag" basketball team from my teenage years to mid-twenties. We played in Bay Area men's leagues and traveled around California to play in Assyrian basketball tournaments. We were undersized, not very athletic, and timid. By the time Noel was done with us, we were quick on our feet, confident, smart, and tenacious. He pushed us to the limits both physically and mentally to build our stamina and resilience. We became smart players who thrived under pressure and enjoyed competition. I'm so thankful for the sacrifices Noel made to teach us lessons that we could carry on for a lifetime. As I look back, I realize that a big part of who I am today is a product of his teaching and mentoring. He didn't get a penny for the countless hours he coached us, it was all passionate volunteer work. Although, I'm sure the rewards he received as he watched us grow into men with strong character was priceless.
I had the pleasure of working with Noel on his branding project for his DJ company, Epic Music Entertainment. Of course, he pushed me creatively and brought the best out of me ... as he always did.
Noel passed away over a year ago and suffered for many years before that with a painful disease. The way he fought and survived the last few years was inspiring. He kept shocking the doctors by surviving longer than they expected. His faith was remarkable. God showed the world miracle after miracle as Noel kept surviving something that nobody else could. His fight, will to live, and grit was just amazing. He left his mark in many people's hearts and he will live on forever through his loved one's memories. I know he's in a better place now and I know I'll see him again on the other side.
The Assyrian athletic community of San Jose (Infinite Sports Association) is organizing a sports tournament in remembrance of our beloved Noel, called "The Buddhi Games," which will take place this weekend at Branham High School. Please join us and support the cause.
The Buddhi Games
Branham High School | June 25-26, 2016
I tried helping out in my own way by designing the logo for the event. You can see the logo design below.
I miss you Buddhi, and I'll never forget you. I will hold your positive messages close to my heart, forever.
"My hopes are that others will come forward to build and maintain relationships in our Assyrian community. We need more leaders that will motivate and bring out the best out of every individual in order to make us stronger. One Love!"
— Noel "Buddhi" Bodaghi
Buddhi's favorite quotes:
"Talent is God given. Be humble.
Fame is man-given. Be grateful.
Conceit is self-given. Be careful."
— John Wooden
"Don't ever underestimate the heart of a champion!"
— Rudy Tomjanovich