Eye on the Ball

Interview: George Mumford, sports psychologist and L.A. Lakers meditation coach,  talks about his troubled youth, his encounter with Buddhism, and the peculiar challenge of putting a ball into a basket.came to Buddhism from a troubled youth. Katy Butler talks with the man behind the bench.

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It happens at least once every time I turn on the television and watch the Los Angeles Lakers play basketball. Their opponents may be younger, with a ragged, raw, desperate energy. Fans may be ringing cowbells, waving plastic wands, and booing, while the Lakers pass the ball fluidly among themselves. Amidst the movement, calm descends. The ball bounces, shuttles, and moves, and then—quicker than sight—Shaquille O’Neal or Kobe Bryant will leap and plunge it into the basket.

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