Dean Rush: Basketball and Going to College
"I can still relate to a lot of the actions and in-actions that took place over that time.
"I grew up on a farm and my father died when I was young - that was in my teenage years.
"For some reason he had foresight before his death and he decided that there was a way (for us to go to college).
"He was anxious for us to go to college.
No one in our family had ever gone beyond high school or had gotten a post high school degree.
Dean Rush: Basketball Between Loads of Hay
"He had people that he would hire to bale hay. That is tough work in Indiana in the summertime. Between loads of hay these guys came in from the fields and they would teach us how to play basketball.
"That's really the time that in my life we became enthralled with being better and better and trying to discipline myself to be able to do something later on well.
"I was able to get a scholarship to attend De Paul University. I played basketball there for four years. I had always wanted to go to the next level and at the end of the time playing there I heard a call. I got a call one day from Coach McCall and he said; "I know you're interested. I don't know whether you can make it, but would you like to try out for the St. Louis Hawks?
"This is before St. Louis had moved to Atlanta.
"I said sure and he said; "well you you have to be at Washington University tomorrow night." This was on a Friday. "You have to go through their try-out procedure." I did that on Friday and Saturday afternoon, and Saturday night. Then they had us go through another drill on Sunday afternoon.
"They came in and announced that I had at least made the taxi squad. What that means is you're in the upper third of the bottom fifth of their recruits.
Dean Rush: I Could Take Abuse
"As we began to play I found out I was a little slower than some of the other folks. I could shoot the ball really well. I can handle the ball really well, and I could take abuse.
"One of the reasons that I think they kept me at that time was I wasn't afraid to get hurt. As my wife Vickie said; "I was thrown into the stands by the best."
"In that era, if you got into a fight, both got thrown out of the game.
"Quite often I would come from the end of the bench. The coach would say; "go in and hit Johnson" - or hit whoever was the leading scorer on the other team. When they hit me back we both got tossed out. I didn't hurt our team but it sure hurt their team.
"That's one of the reasons that you would have a nose like this. I have no cartilage in my nose because it was hit 'a few' times.
"Well I played ball and moved quickly to the Cincinnati Royals (1) for a try-out.
"I went from the Cincinnati Royals - they traded me to Baltimore - and before I could receive a full 'contract' - before Baltimore - they put me on waivers which told me where I stood in the basketball world.
"Well then at that time Abe Saperstein (2) who owned the Harlem Globetrotters (3) was starting the ABA (the American Basketball Association (4)) and they had teams all over the place - San Antonio Spurs (5), the Dallas Chaparrals (6) Cleveland Cavaliers (7) we were the Cleveland Pipers (8) when I went there. The Cleveland Jets then became the Cleveland Pipers in the ABA that eventually evolved into the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Dean Rush: Learning Team Dynamics
"I say all that because I found that in basketball I could relate to other people and I began to learn team dynamics. I learned team dynamics in a in a way that was sort of... it was uncanny. I began to understand that the people around me were teaching me about life.
Dean Rush: Meeting Vickie (Rush)
"As we traveled we had some had some great experiences. I met my wife Vickie on one of the trips when we were going to play the Bulls in an exhibition game. She was a flight attendant and we were going to be friends but she seemed to enjoy basketball so we were able to eventually come to an agreement and get married. That was about 51 years ago so I think the agreement has stood the test of time.
"Basketball was something that never ever left my soul. My son Ryan (9) played basketball. My daughter played basketball.
"I've watched over the years and those team dynamics that I learned are still going on. I love the teams that actually use the team - not individuals - and so much in life today depends upon the people around you.
Dean Rush: Organizational Behavior
"I teach Organizational Behavior at Liberty University (10). I love the subject because it talks about team dynamics. It talks about team dynamics when you're developing an organization. It talks about team dynamics when you're trying to stabilize the team or stabilize an organization.
You can't do it alone and that's one of the reasons that I've enjoyed teaching.
"I've also enjoyed the interaction with the students because I find that many students these days really don't realize that they're part of an organization. You know God made us that way. He said that we were to come together as ONE and quite often we begin thinking that we ARE one. Our 'individual' thinking takes us away from his real purpose - and that was for us to touch other people.
Dean Rush: Getting Christ into the Workplace
"My mission in life at my age is to get Christ into the workplace. I don't know whether you know Christ but the idea for me has been trying to get people to understand what I found through basketball - through life - and through learning that it was Jesus who opened the eyes of the blind and he opened the hearts of those that were being persecuted.
Dean Rush: Ideology of Empowerment
"An idea that I have today is that (we can through you) I empower people to go into the marketplace - go into the workplace to let them know about Christ. So it's with that that I expound on the ideology of empowerment. I found when I was running companies (and it was very fortunate) I ran some very large companies. I couldn't do the work myself. I had to have people around me who were capable and enthusiastic about doing their jobs.
Dean Rush: Interested In Knowing You
"With that I would say that I'm I'm very interested in knowing you and having you know some of my thoughts - and they're worth just what you're paying for them! I believe that God has put us in a position to talk to one another (online and in private).
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Dean Rush: Expounding the Gospel
"So this is my method of expounding my gospel to you and hopefully the gospel of Jesus Christ and His salvation as well."
Dean Rush (10)- Cinco Ranch Texas - April 23rd 2018
Dean was raised on a farm in the Midwest and learned to fly at an early age eventually landing him in the Air Force as a career where he served as a pilot, test pilot, and Special Forces operations pilot during the Vietnam conflict. After leaving the Air Force Dean co-founded Emerald Airlines which was a small cargo / passenger airline as a feeder for Pan American World Airways.
Dean is the recipient of a Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and 10 Air Medals for valor. If you are dealing with job loss, divorce or other personal and family crises, Flying Free offers valuable lessons and provides a "flight plan" for success that will guide you through the most formidable of life's tests.
After a distinguished career as a pilot during the Vietnam conflict and a subsequent successful career in aviation, Dean dealt with a series of his own challenges that he successfully faced with sound principles and unwavering faith.
Marked by deep understanding, empathy and a strong foundation of scripture, these principles provide a clear map to the great rewards that can come in the midst of change.