In order to understand the kind of person Wilson Pinkstaff is, you should hear this story...
“We have an 86-year-old assistant coach, Larry Bennett, who is one of the nicest human beings on the planet, and Wilson went over and took Coach Bennett out to lunch for his 86th birthday," said Rancho Mirage boys basketball and golf coach Rob Hanmer.
"There’s not many kids in high school that have that kind of maturity to stay connected to an 86-year-old and do something like that, but that’s the kind of kid Wilson is,” Hanmer said.
Rob Hanmer coaches Pinkstaff on both the golf and basketball teams. Hanmer said Pinkstaff’s ability to get along with just about anybody is the reason he is such a great leader.
“He’s one of those kids that leads by example. He’s a first class personality, a first class person all the time,” Hanmer said.
“I’m very kind to others and I’m not putting them down. I try to motivate them as much as I can and I can see that if, like, Coach starts getting mad at them and you can tell, like they put their head down, I’m like, ‘C’mon dude!’ and pat them on the back,” said Pinkstaff.
Pinkstaff excels on the basketball court, the golf course and in the classroom at Rancho Mirage High School.
“He’s just one of those special kids that understands that if you work hard, you’re going to end up being successful,” said Hanmer.
But he’s faced his share of adversity along the way. From losing his grandparents to managing life with Type 1 Diabetes, Pinkstaff said it has given him a greater perspective on life.
“I just always try to stay as positive as I can. I really thank my parents for really keeping me up and also always having God by my side,” he said.
“He’s definitely a glass is half full kind of kid and you know, that’s a great way to look at life,” Hanmer said.
Pinkstaff said that perspective has made him realize how grateful he is to be here in the desert and close to his family. He plans to start his postsecondary career playing golf at College of the Desert.