How’d he learn to play? John Don­ahue knows,

Modern Healthcare - - EDITORIAL -

Who’s most re­spon­si­ble for the suc­cess in re­cent years of the Chicago Bulls bas­ket­ball team? Su­per­star guard Der­rick Rose? Coach Tom Thi­bodeau? Or, as some in his fam­ily may be­lieve, is it John Don­ahue, CEO of the Brent­wood, Tenn.-based Co­gent HMG hos­pi­tal­ist staffing com­pany?

Don­ahue re­ports that he was the very first bas­ket­ball coach of Bulls cen­ter Joakim Noah when the 27-year-old, al­most 7-footer was a very young boy play­ing for the Mary­mount In­ter­na­tional School of Paris. Don­ahue said he was work­ing as the CFO for the in­ter­na­tional di­vi­sion of the Rhone-poulenc phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany, now Sanofi-aven­tis, and liv­ing in Paris when his own chil­dren were at­tend­ing Mary­mount.

When Noah was kinder­garten age, Don­ahue said he saw him run­ning around with a pack of kids on the soc­cer field and de­clared, “He’s my No. 1 draft choice for the bas­ket­ball team,” and served as his coach un­til he was about 10 years old.

“He al­ways had the big­gest smile, but he was also the most ag­gres­sive kid in try­ing to score. I have no doubt that I’m re­spon­si­ble for his suc­cess with the Chicago Bulls,” Don­ahue boasts, with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Don­ahue ex­plains that the school’s coach­ing style was to “give them the fun­da­men­tals and just let them go.”

AP PHOTO

Don­ahue says Chicago Bull Joakim Noah was an ag­gres­sive player from the start.

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