Fatherhood means most to NBA Champion Adrian Griffin
When the Raptors raised their first-ever NBA Championship this past week, Wichita East graduate Adrian Griffin also became a first-time NBA Champion as a lead assistant coach.
It's the apex of basketball, and Griffin always dreamed of hoisting an NBA Championship trophy, but he's always held one thing above his love for the game.
Griffin had his first daughter in 1996 and he said it changed his entire perspective.
"When you're living for something else, you take on a different responsibility," he said.
That responsibility eventually grew four times its original size. His oldest daughter never went on to play college ball, but the rest of the Griffin clan caught the "bug," as he described it.
"Coach Griffin" taught his kids from an early age how to play disciplined ball and gave them opportunities to succeed.
"I told them if you want to be better, I'm going to help you," he said.
Griffin brought his kids to the gym after his own practices daily until they learned the necessary skills to advance their careers. His oldest son is playing at The University of Illinois, his younger daughter is committed to UConn, and his youngest son is a top recruit out of high school.
But none of the basketball accolades matter as much as his imprint on their personalities.
"All parents want is for their kids to be good citizens and be good people, and that's one thing that I'm really proud of them," he said. "They've all done it the right way."
Griffin learned that from his own father, a big role model in his life. His father worked long hours at Boeing in Wichita, while also working as a pastor in a local church.
"My dad was a really spiritual and religious man. He never gave me basketball advice," he said. "He would always have the same answer or the same reply. he would say, 'how's your spiritual life?'"
Griffin now passes those lessons onto his own children.
"He knew that if I was right on the inside, I would be right on the outside. He knew that if my inner-spirit and my inner-man was alright, that I would be okay. That's the lessons that I pass on to my kids."