Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More Than Basketball

Years of putting in work
My older son has literally been playing basketball since he was in Kindergarten. I remember picking him up from the rec center and he had on his little backpack as he ran toward me yelling "Coach said I can be in his camp!" "Coach said I can be in his camp!" I have never forgotten that day. That day was the beginning for something that I could have never prepared for. Even now it's overwhelming.

After participating in the camp for several years Alex became to old to be a part of the camp so he helped Coach Spoon out by becoming a volunteer. While working at the phone company that year one of my co-workers suggested Alex try and play for the Friar's Club. My co-worker signed him up and Alex was placed on a team. My son has simply always loved the sport. One day we were at a tournament and his team made it to the consolation bracket. Alex was out there playing his little heart out. His team wasn't going to win the championship bracket but they were determined to win something. At the buzzer Alex threw up a shot and sure enough his team won.

It was at that game that I was asked if Alex would be interested in playing for the Cincinnati Friar Warriors. Well needless to say the rest was history. From the 3rd grad until the 11th grade that team traveled and won several tournaments. For several years they were considered one of the top traveling teams in Ohio.

Alex gradually turned into this incredible player. I would watch him study the court and study the other players and make moves to get the job done. He listened intently to his coaches and he learned plays and how to work effectively as team player.

Going to high school he took it to that next level of being a leader on the court and to his peers. Being on the court is therapeutic for him in dealing with so many issues many young African American males deal with, i.e. lack of resources, school, absent fathers and thoughts of the future. At this point we should be focused on his last year of high school and what college he will be attending next year.

So imagine the summer of your senior year becoming injured to the point where doctor's give you a report that puts you in a place of What? and then you begin to think Why? Why now? My response to Alex has been don't believe the report. God has a plan for you and your life. He didn't bring you this far to leave you. We are going to do everything we are told to do at the times we are told to do it. I believe that God heals and He restores. My pastor wrote a note to Alex that put in all into perspective for me "Sometimes God breaks us to make us."

AAU Nationals at VA Beach 2005
Alex know that best is yet to come.

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