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As a basketball coach, the word “toughness” is often tossed around in my discussion.

But when talking toughness, I don’t mean fighting with your fists. I talk about diving for loose balls, drawing charges, taking the ball to the rack with authority, and being a lockdown defender.

It’s more of a mental toughness mind-set. Has nothing to do with how you use your fists.

Thinking back on my days of growing up in the neighborhood, I was trying to think of some of the more “tough-minded” people.

This person could be quiet, down to earth, cool, calm and collected.

I don’t care if a person won every fight on the street or in a bar.

I’m looking for guys (or gals) who you knew could “out think” the opponent. Who got the respect of all those around them. The one person you just didn’t *uck with…