Broadside: Mandela's Legacy at a Boston High School - NECN
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Broadside: Mandela's Legacy at a Boston High School

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    Broadside: Mandela's legacy at a Boston high school

    Madison Park High School basketball coach Dennis Wilson talks about Nelson Mandela's historic visit in 1990 (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

    (NECN) - When Nelson Mandela finally arrived at the gymnasium at Madison Park High School in Boston during his 1990 visit to the city, he had the welcome of a rock star.

    One of those who attended that event was a legend in his own right. Madison Park High School basketball coach Dennis Wilson says the energy during Mandela's visit was "unbelievable."

    "The vibe just, you could tell that you were going to be part of something special. That you were going to see one of the most iconic figures, just one of the unbelievable humanitarians of our time," he recalls.

    Wilson says it was easy to lose track of time waiting for Mandela due to the atmosphere in the gym.

    "You know, everybody was just on a high, just knowing what we're getting ready to experience and you know, just talking about him and all that we were getting ready to get to kind of witness and experience," he says.

    He says finally getting to see Mandela was one of the memorable moments of his life, along with the birth of his son and meeting Muhammad Ali.

    "When he went on stage, the place went crazy," Wilson recalls.