By Jessica McGregor

Last Saturday night, our very own Coach Kyle Julius was named the 2016-2017 Coach of the Year in the National Basketball League of Canada.

Under the tutelage of Coach Julius, we’ve seen a lot.

We’ve seen this year’s Lightning team set the league record for most wins in a season at 35-5.

At home, we’ve seen the Lightning win all but one game, even in the playoffs.

We’ve seen Kyle Johnson score 51 points in a game and we’ve seen Ryan Anderson take and make the most 3 pointers in a game.

We’ve seen Doug Herring Jr. set the team record for assists in a game and we’ve seen Royce White set the league record for most triple-doubles in a season.

Overall, we’ve seen Kyle Julius coach an unbelievable season.

You may have also seen the many things that happen off the court.

You may have seen him on the news and heard him on the radio and seen him in the newspaper. You may have seen him at a stair climb, or a tree lighting or at other community events.

You may have seen him running practice at the YMCA or eating team dinner at Angelo’s, usually accompanied by his two young sons and his lovely wife Yean.

But what you certainly haven’t seen is everything else.

You haven’t seen the late night reminders to the team to stretch, hydrate, and take care of their bodies.

You haven’t seen the hours and hours of recruiting, scouting, negotiating, analyzing and strategizing.

You haven’t seen the tough conversations, the one-on-one workouts or the late-night meetings or the full scope of the discipline, grit, energy or passion that goes into coaching the winningest team in league history.

So thank you, coach, for everything we’ve seen, and all that we haven’t.

Congratulations & Go Lightning!