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Coach K reads an emotional 'Note to Self' in 'CBS This Morning' segment

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski reads a letter in "CBS This Morning's" Note To Self series.
Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski reads a letter in "CBS This Morning's" Note To Self series. CBS News

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski was featured on the "CBS This Morning" Note to Self series on Wednesday.

The Note to Self series, which has featured people like former vice president Joe Biden, former president Jimmy Carter, Oprah Winfrey and Dale Earnhardt Jr., has a prominent figure write a letter from their younger self to their current self in a video enhanced with photos depicting family and career milestones.

For his video, Krzyzewski read his letter off a Duke clipboard sitting on a basketball court at Duke. He filmed the segment in February, just before sitting down with News & Observer reporter Jonathan Alexander, who noted that the coach's "eyes were a little red, as if he had just been crying."

Krzyzewski addressed himself as "Dear Mick" and signed it "Coach K." The letter starts with references to his childhood on the schoolyards of inner city Chicago.

"Those games you play with Moe and rest of the boys are laying a foundation for your future as a member and leader of teams. And the games you play when they have all gone home and you are alone with the ball and the hoop, those are equal in their fundamental value. "

The Duke coach also referenced a time he had to step away from his team, during the 94-95 season.

"There will be a time in your future, when you are approaching 50 years old, when you will become disconnected with those things you learned in the schoolyard, where it wasn't always about winning and when the experience and the feeling were what mattered most. The pressure will become heavy and you will feel that burden in your body as well as in your mind. Your family will ask you to take a step away from the team and the game you love. It will be hard, but please listen to them and let them help you reclaim the part of yourself that finds joy and meaning in the process and that understands the importance of balance."

Krzyzewski became very emotional speaking about his mother, Emily, the namesake of the Emily K. Center in Durham, which helps high school kids prepare for college.

"And Mick, take it easy on your mom, OK? It won't be long before you realize that she is your first hero. Your passion for creating opportunities for the next generation begins with her, as does your sense of humor. Watch her. Listen to her. She is selfless and courageous."

Krzyzewski has led the Duke Blue Devils to five NCAA Tournament Championships. The team takes on Iona Thursday (2:45 p.m., CBS) in the first round of this year's tournament.

You can read the full text of Coach K's letter and watch the video on the CBS News site.

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Brooke Cain: 919-829-4579, @brookecain

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