HAMMOND, Louisiana – At 4:32 a.m. on January 14, 2012, the phone call reached the associate head coach of men’s basketball at the University of Southeast Louisiana. Marc Lieberman that every parent dreads.
While on a road trip with Florida International University as an assistant coach, Lieberman received the unthinkable phone call that no one wishes on anyone. Her four-month-old son, Maxwell, died suddenly of complications from a premature birth.
“Internally, I’m a broken man because of this,” Lieberman said. “As much as I have retained some of my qualities and personalities as a man such as my love for basketball and my sense of humor, it is difficult. There are times that are triggers. Some of them are triggers. days i’m fine and some days i see a father and his son outside and it breaks my heart. “
With every tragedy, however, Lieberman has shown that there are ways to make this a positive event. The Lions third-year coach is now the March of Dimes spokesperson. More than 380,000 babies are born prematurely each year according to MarchOfDimes.Org. Every year, a woman dies every 12 hours from pregnancy-related causes and 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely.
“I did speaking engagements in Georgia and when I was in Louisville,” Lieberman said. “And that stuff gets me through that rather than just thinking about that day. Because I don’t think I’ll ever really be the same after that day. That (March of Dimes) won’t fix me. , but it certainly helps me face the bad days. “
While that tragic day will always be in Lieberman’s heart, he has also become more mindful of mental health and understands the players he has coached for over 27 years on the sidelines.
“I have a lot more respect and understanding for the emotional issues that coaches and players experience on a daily basis,” said Lieberman. “So I can empathize a lot more with some of the things our players are going through now. Before, I was always a ‘tough love’ coach but now there are always players I can talk to and cry in front of them. I can be more humanized and vulnerable in front of our players. So a by-product of all of this is that I can turn it into a positive by helping our players. I can now see that basketball is not always the end of everything. Either way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m constantly haunted by demons because of this, but I’m trying to overcome it as best I can. “
Lieberman is also aware that this is something that many parents go through and is something you can never be prepared for.
“I don’t think there is any advice you can give a parent on how to handle this,” Lieberman said. “But I think you can listen and just lend an ear to someone. Some days I don’t want someone telling me what to do, I just want to hear them say ‘I’m sorry for what you are going through’ . It is a terrible brotherhood to belong but I have developed many relationships because of it. There is no trick for a parent who has lost a child, it is the worst thing that can happen to a human being and I sympathize with anyone who has ever experienced something like this. “
In honor of Maxwell, Southeastern will host the “Maxwell Lieberman Classic” on Sunday November 14e when they face Paul Quinn College at the University Center at 1 p.m.
Fans are welcome to attend the game. Those interested in contributing to the March of Dimes organization can do so at https://p2p.onecause.com/marchofdimes/accept?challenger=riley-conroy&team=maxwell-lieberman-classic).
CLUB / S HARDWOOD CLUB
Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the basketball program are encouraged to join the Hardwood Club. Former Lions are encouraged to join the exclusive S club, which is reserved for sports winners from the South East. All membership fees and donations to the Hardwood Club are available for the exclusive use of the Southeast basketball program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at [email protected]tern.edu or (985) 549-5091 or by visiting www.LionUp.com.
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For more information on tickets, please contact the Southeastern Athletics box office at (985) 549-5466 or visit www.LionSports.net/tickets. Southeastern is implementing mobile ticketing as the primary source for obtaining tickets for the 2020-21 season. All tickets will be available via email in PDF format for fans to download to their phones or print at home. Tickets can also be downloaded from Apple Wallet.