Former Bulls coach Bill Cartwright reaches new generation

Former Bulls coach Bill Cartwright reaches new generation

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Bill Cartwright became a household name in Chicago winning championships for the Bulls in the 1990's. Now at 57, Mr. Bill is gaining a new generation of fans, impressing fundamentals on the basketball court.

He does not wear his championship rings, and his new players were not even born the last time that Cartwright played an NBA game.

"The kids are pretty good, and we pulled it off," Cartwright said of being asked for autographs. "So hopefully by the end of the hour, it will be. But we're getting a few."

When asked what it means to them, to learn from a guy who won three titles, the answers are simple.

"It means a lot because he's really good and all," one young player told FOX 32 News. "So, he's good at teaching."

In the near two decades since Cartwright retired from playing, coaching and teaching have become his passion. This winter, he's passing on his knowledge through a big man and guard skills class, for third through eighth graders at joy of the game.

"The kids get a chance to play a lot of basketball," Cartwright said. "They play 50 to 100 games here, but they don't get a chance to work with their skills. Basic fundamentals, we learned growing up, that's what this place is all about. "

They're learning skills every basketball player needs to be great – how to pivot, attack the basket, post and shoot - the basic building blocks for excellence on the court.

"I had really good coaches," Cartwright told FOX 32 News. "A lot of those fundamentals carried over, so they are a real foundation to the player that I became."

During his five seasons with the Bulls, he was the stabilizing force, winning three NBA titles and then two more as an assistant under Phil Jackson. He continues to stand out on the court.

"Some are here because the parents want to get the kids away from the computer," Cartwright said. "So whatever reason we're here, we're going to teach them something."

Coaching keeps him connected to basketball, and gets kids excited to keep playing and watching the game so close to his heart.

"I've been fortunate to be able to play a long time," Cartwright concluded. "To be able to do skill work is very good stuff."

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