Athlete of the Week: Basketball coach heads to international stage
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For a little more than one year now, 48-year-old David Katz has worked as an athletic director and coach at Austin's Paragon Prep school.
“I love getting up at 6:09 in the morning five days a week, driving my girls to school,” he said. “There's nothing better in my life right now than being with my girls at Paragon with this family."
Katz loves teaching and coaching, but also telling his students about his former career in Hollywood. That's where Katz spent nearly two decades in acting. He has worked alongside Denzel Washington and Jack Nicholson on movie sets and as a recurring actor on TV shows like the “West Wing.”
Acting gigs in LA and teaching the fundamentals of basketball to middle school girls might seem worlds apart, and Katz admits they are, but that doesn't mean they don't share similarities.
"You always have to be on. There is no down time,” Katz said. “When you step into Paragon, it is, like I say in sports, 'It's go time.' You are on stage."
Come next summer, Katz will be on an even bigger stage. An avid basketball player, Katz will represent the United States in the Maccabiah Games, an Olympic-style event held in Israel. He's one of just 12 men to be selected to the 45-and-older team.
"When I got that letter on that Friday afternoon, when I went home, and it said, 'Congratulations, you are a member of Team USA,’” he said. “I couldn't believe it. I'm going to play for my country in Israel."
Katz walked on and eventually earned a scholarship at then Southwest Texas State. He's won a gold medal with the United States at the Pan-Am Games.
He hopes to add another gold next summer, making for another good story to tell his students.
David says the trip to Israel will cost $13,000, and he's looking to raise money to try and help off-set the cost.
For more information on his fundraising efforts, click here.