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Sportswriter Dave Kindred finds his most fulfilling work in high school gyms of central Illinois

Dave Kindred finds his most fulfilling work
Dave Kindred finds his most fulfilling work in high school gyms of central Illinois 01:32

The pages of sportswriter Dave Kindred's life are in the record books. For more than half a century, Kindred covered Super Bowls, the World Series and 52 Masters. In 1966, as a cub reporter in Louisville, KY,  Kindred met the ascending local fighter Muhammad Ali, which launched the first of more than 300 interviews. Kindred followed Ali's entire career and on the next edition of 60 Minutes, he tells Jon Wertheim about the strangest interview he ever did with the heavyweight champion. 

Today, Kindred covers a local high school's girls basketball team, on a self-appointed beat he's found to be even more fulfilling at this time of his life. Wertheim reports this sweet tale of small-town sports meeting big-city sports writing on the next edition of 60 Minutes Sunday, March 28, at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. 

From the Louisville Courier Journal, Kindred moved on to The Washington Post, the Atlanta  Journal Constitution and The Sporting News, before returning home with his wife Cheryl to Central Illinois to retire in 2010. Looking for something to do in the winter, they found themselves inside a high school gym for entertainment in nearby Morton, Illinois, where the local high school girls basketball team, the Lady Potters, played three nights a week. But sitting idly, while assists were made and 3-pointers sunk, proved impossible for Kindred.

"I went to a basketball game. And like the old war horse, I couldn't sit there and not write about what I saw," he recalls. And besides, they deserved it. "The women athletes, you know I loved seeing them play. And why should they be ignored in high school athletics?" he asks. "The men's game is vertical. The girls' game is horizontal. They have to master the fundamentals. So it's much more fun to watch them - and plus, they don't pout. They don't bitch," he tells Wertheim. 

After a summit meeting with the team's Head Coach, Bob Becker, Kindred eventually found himself back in front of the keyboard, meeting his own self-imposed deadlines and chronicling his new team. 

"You know, after that initial shock, getting to know who he really was, after a little bit of research… the Michael Jordan of sports writing falls in our lap," says Becker 

Kindred, now 79, tells Wertheim about his latest sport writing assignment, and how what started as just fun became life-affirming. "This team became my community. It became my friends. You know, they were light. And I knew that light was always going be there, you know, two or three times a week," says Kindred. 

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