Phil Jackson Volunteers for American Indian Fundraiser

By Beacon Staff

Ever wonder what it would be like to spend a day with the Zen Master?

Lakeside resident and legendary basketball coach Phil Jackson is offering a lucky fan the chance to hang out in Los Angeles and talk about his storied professional basketball career.

Jackson has teamed up with the online company Omaze for a fundraising campaign supporting the American Indian College Fund, a nationwide organization that provides financial aid to Native students who cannot afford a higher education.

Contestants can enter to win here. The contest is currently slated to end on Feb. 8. One donated entry is $10. For those who purchase five or more, the cost drops to $8 per entry and 10 or more entries are $7 each.

Airfare to Los Angeles and a hotel will be included for the winner and one friend.

According to the contest, which is titled “Relive NBA’s Greatest Moments with Phil Jackson,” the Zen Master will show game tape of past championship series and explain how he prepared players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. He will also talk about how he developed his well-known Triangle offense and other strategies that helped him win the most NBA championships in history.

“Phil Jackson has supported us in the past and has been a big supporter of the (American Indian College Fund) fund. We’re excited to be working with him again,” Director of Public Education Dina Horwedel told the Beacon.

Horwedel said Jackson reached out to the organization and proposed the fundraiser, which kicked off last week.

“He wanted to do this and donate the proceeds,” she said.

The American Indian College Fund provides roughly 3,500 scholarships a year to students pursuing college degrees. The fund also provides support for tribal college needs ranging from financial support to cultural preservation activities.

Jackson most recently retired from coaching in 2011. During his lengthy coaching career he won 11 NBA championships, the most in history.

He grew up in Montana and spent considerable time in the Flathead Valley, where he owns a home.

The contest includes a brief writeup about Jackson:

It wasn’t always easy for the Zen Master. Because he was perceived to be “counter-cultural” during his playing days, he struggled to get hired as a coach and spent many years coaching Puerto Rico’s National Superior Basketball League. What empowered Phil to ascend from coaching the Piratas de Quebradillas to winning 11-titles? Many have said it’s his holistic approach influenced by Eastern philosophy.Others have said it’s the discipline he learned growing up the son of two ministers in a remote area of Montana where he wasn’t permitted to experience worldly pleasures like television until college.It’s hard to say, but what we admire most about Phil is that he’s been continually generous with his philosophical approach so that we can all learn from his methods.

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