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UK Debate Team Heads to National Finals With a Top 16 Ranking

14 March 2017

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 14, 2016) — The similarities between coaching a nationally ranked basketball team and coaching a nationally ranked debate team are undeniable.

First, there is recruitment — spring and summer weeks on the road that slip into months without notice, traveling from one talented high school student’s living room to the next, exhorting the opportunities of their institution.

Then, there is the agonizing choice between one gifted youngster and another, all the time recognizing that there are dozens of coaches out there anxious to steal your rising star. At some point in this time frame, both the athletic and the academic coaches judiciously distribute the available scholarships.

Teams are finally assembled and months of practice begin — one team in the gym, one team in the library, but both making freshman mistakes, learning to trust their team and their coach, finding a way to win, and celebrating together when it all finally gels.