Musical Journey of Coach Hughes: Los Angeles

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Los Angeles
August 14, 2009

Traveling with the WNBA, I've gone into cities and only ever seen the hotel and the arena. A few years back, I started thinking why not learn a little bit about where I'm going when I have a few moments. So, I've kind of made it my mission to try and find something to pay attention to in the different cities.

One year, I looked to see which cities had mass transits that I could jump on and use to look at the city a little bit if I had a few hours. So, we're in downtown L.A. and I decided to jump on the transit system to go exploring when I noticed it went out to Universal Studios in the Hollywood Hills.

I thought, "Okay, I'm going to jump on here and go out to Universal Studios." The light rail let you off right out in front of the place and it was great. They have a small arena and Ringo Starr happened to be playing there that day. So, of course, I had to try to get a ticket.

Somehow, I latched onto a ticket and went in to see Ringo Starr in what happened to be one of his all-star tours. It was just a fantastic show. So not only did I get the light rail experience and to see the Hollywood Hills, but I got to see Ringo Starr play too. But, the truly interesting part about the whole experience is that it led to a friendship.

I love getting to shows early and checking everything out, so that day when I arrived I saw some Ringo Starr art. Ringo is a painter and a couple of gentlemen were out selling his art before the concert. So, there I am and I happen to strike up a conversation with the two gentlemen who were there selling the art. Oddly enough we crossed paths again last year in Chicago.

Then, this season, one of the gentlemen, Dan, came to our game in Connecticut. He works as an art dealer and golf pro and lives in that area, so unbeknownst to me, he decided to come to our game. As we're leaving the floor, there he is yelling at me. I had the fortune to meet him afterwards and have dinner, but it all started on my musical journey when I went to see Ringo Starr in L.A., checking out the rail system a few years before.

It's funny how the musical journey intertwines with your life and intertwines with basketball. As you go through the numbers of years in the business, you try to grab an opportunity and look at it a little differently. When you do something, like go to L.A. for 10 years, you want to do something a little different to make the experience a little more growing. But, this particular journey on mass transit led to a Ringo Starr concert and a friendship.