The United States and Canadian Hockey teams engaged in a classic Gold Medal match on Sunday...and I didn't watch a play.
I had more important things to do. My nephew was playing in the Catholic League 4th Grade Basketball Championship.
My son and I entered the arena to see this kid levitate above the court he played upon. Graceful in his dribbling, elegant in his shot taking and calculated in his defensive coordination. He and the boys from his block walked in to a gym across town and handed the home team a beat down!
As the game dramatically unfolded, one thing became evident: unapologetic effort! At times the dribbling was out of control, elbows were thrown and screens moved inappropriately. But the drive to succeed in these boys (and a girl) was flabbergasting. At no point did the energy run out. there was always a kid on the floor for a loose ball and fear of injury was unthinkable. It was just some kids from neighboring towns throwing down for their block in an effort to put a trophy on their bedroom shelf.
When the final whistle blew the team of marry pranksters celebrated with high fives, accepted their trophies and thanked their competitors. The smallest boy on the team carried the pride of his family on his shoulders getting knocked down and bouncing back up as his Father has; having just lost his job!
How much we can learn from these little people:
To determine our goals and drive toward them without compromise
To dedicate ourselves to our challenges
To be Humble in Victory and Accountable in Defeat
There are those who say Sunday's gold medal game saved Hockey. But, a rink filled with pros is far from Lake Placid. Give me the amateurs...those who play for the sake of achieving prizes no one will ever take from them: A trophy, some pride for a neighborhood that has seen it's share of heart break and a little more confidence to carry with them onto this marry-go-round called life.
ST JOAN OF ARK 4th GRADE BASKETBALL RULES!
Don't Forget to Remember!