‘He was Mr. Bas­ket­ball’

Tillsonburg News - - FRONT PAGE - JA­COB ROBINSON

For some, morn­ings at The Greens at Renton will never be the same. Talk to oth­ers and they’ll say Nor­folk County’s youth bas­ket­ball scene has been dealt a real blow.

To­gether they’re griev­ing the loss of Bill Ma­covik, a good friend, and fiercely ded­i­cated vol­un­teer.

“He was car­ing - he was al­ways in­ter­ested in what people were up to,” said Dave Chanda, a friend and Ma­covik’s golf buddy in re­cent years. “He was al­ways ask­ing how your fam­ily was, how your dog was. He was in­ter­ested in what people thought, and he loved to talk about sports.”

“He was just a friendly, friendly guy.”

“He had such a joy for coach­ing bas­ket­ball, that pas­sion just kind of flowed over ev­ery­body he came in touch with,” said Teresa Dockx, who coached along­side Ma­covik for the last decade. “When my son would come into the gym to shoot, he would take that mo­ment to go over and talk him and any­body who had a bas­ket­ball in their hands and give them a few ex­tra point­ers.”

“I’m very thank­ful that I got to coach with him.”

Wil­liam Arthur Ma­covik was a re­spected bi­ol­ogy teacher (spend­ing much of his ca­reer in Tillsonburg), a de­voted hus­band to his wife Jan­ice for 41 years and cher­ished fa­ther to daugh­ter Alexan­dra. Ma­covik died Aug. 22 at the age of 65.

Out­side of his home and the class­room, Ma­covik was a pop­u­lar mem­ber at The Greens. Some sum­mers he could be found on the course sev­eral times per week, which would ex­plain a sin­gle digit hand­i­cap.

When he wasn’t hit­ting the ball he was teach­ing young­sters to drib­ble it, ei­ther as part of the Sim­coe Com­pos­ite School coach­ing staff or the M&M Hoops Bas­ket­ball Camp he ran for 18 years along­side Jean Montgomery.

“He was ‘Mr. Bas­ket­ball’,” said Montgomery. “When­ever there was any­thing go­ing on, whether he was coach­ing or not, he would be there. He re­ally was in­vested in the kids reach­ing their po­ten­tial, do­ing the best they could do. He wanted so much more for the kids, not just bas­ket­ball, he wanted them to grow to be re­spect­ful and hard-work­ing so that they could re­al­ize per­sonal suc­cess.”

Make no mis­take, when Ma­covik walked into the gym he was there to win and help play­ers im­prove. Striv­ing for any­thing else was wasted time.

“Even my own daugh­ter, I’m thank­ful that she had a coach like Bill be­cause it was tough love,” said Dockx. “The ath­letes knew that he cared about how each of those play­ers pro­gressed. He had a goal for ev­ery sin­gle one of them and he wanted to help each one of those play­ers achieve that goal.”

Ma­covik main­tained a steady so­cial life even after a se­ri­ous car ac­ci­dent north of Delhi 14 years ago left him with se­vere leg pain through­out the day.

He was swing­ing the sticks with Chanda up un­til Aug. 9, one day be­fore he was hos­pi­tal­ized.

“He was re­ally strug­gling to get around but he gave it his all,” Chanda ex­plained. “Once he got over the ball there was no prob­lem there, he’s got a nice swing and he played well.”

Chanda and Ma­covik’s fel­low play­ing part­ners knew his health was de­te­ri­o­rat­ing and had talked to him about slow­ing down but Ma­covik would have none of it.

“He loves the game so much that he misses the so­cial as­pect of it,” Chanda added.

“If any­body knew what the word en­durance meant it was def­i­nitely Bill.”

Ma­covik of­ten talked to his play­ers about team­work and how to im­prove. Given his health sit­u­a­tion, he led by ex­am­ple.

“He was in a lot of pain that a lot of people sit­ting in those bleach­ers didn’t know about,” said Dockx.

“The kids knew that if Bill is show­ing up in this much pain to be here for us we could put out as much as we can as in­di­vid­u­als. It cer­tainly speaks a lot to his char­ac­ter.”

A cel­e­bra­tion of life for Ma­covik will be an­nounced in the com­ing weeks. In the mean­time, the fam­ily has asked that do­na­tions made in his hon­our go to the Nor­folk-Gen­eral Hospi­tal and

the Arnold An­der­son Sport Fund.

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