The seventh point of the Scout Law — obedient — is about discipline. An obedient Scout shows discipline by following rules and taking direction from others.
That applies whether in the classroom, on a backpacking trip — or on the court during an NBA game.
Josh Hart would know about all three. He’s a Villanova graduate, Eagle Scout and a guard for the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers.
Earlier this month, Hart stopped by a pack and troop meeting in Los Angeles for a surprise visit. He posed for photos, talked with the Scouts of Pack 1323 and Troop 1323 (Greater Los Angeles Area Council), and shared how Scouting helped him achieve athletic accolades.
‘I had the discipline in Scouting’
Hart says when you’re considered a top athlete at the college or professional level, you become accustomed to getting constant praise from others. It can have a numbing effect.
As a result, Hart says, a lot of professional basketball players “don’t have the discipline to listen,” he told the Scouts.
Hart, a first-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, says Scouting taught him discipline that followed him into the NBA.
“For me, it was always, OK, I had the discipline in Scouting,” he told the Scouts. “When you’re camping somewhere, you’re backpacking, you’re in the woods, you have to be disciplined. You have to be able to take direction. You have to take criticism. And you have to do that in the right manner.”
On the Lakers, Hart has built an identity as the gritty, no-nonsense player who’s willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win.
While teammates like LeBron James get the spotlight, Hart does work that doesn’t make it onto SportsCenter: diving on the floor for a loose ball, taking a charge or hustling back on defense.
‘You gotta put a lot of work in’
Hart earned Scouting’s highest honor as a member of Rockville, Md.-based Troop 1083 of the National Capital Area Council.
In 2016, I shared Philadelphia Scouter Ed Lynes’ story about Hart. The interview was conducted before Hart and Villanova won the national championship, making it even more significant when Hart said that Scouting helped him get there.
“It’s all about leading — leading and hard work. You don’t get Eagle Scout by just showing up,” Hart told Lynes. “You gotta put a lot of work in. Gotta sacrifice a lot of time. Put in a lot of weekends. Doing that taught me how to get serious, put my head down, and go to work.”