Friday, August 10, 2007

First Annual...

Our first annual Basketball Camp is done. It was an amazing week. We started with about 12 kids and ended up with 29! Boys, girls, kids with low self-esteem, kids who thought they were "all that." Coach "AB" was a master at working with all ages, both genders, and every emotion that they showed up with. This was not only a master class in basketball, but it was a living breathing role model of how to handle a disparate group of young people...bring them together, motivate, and inspire them. I can't say enough about what I learned just by watching things unfold during the week. He had firm discipline, taking no guff from anyone. And yet he was so kind with the ultra-sensitive girl who wore her heart on her sleeve. Wow.

His buddy, our VP, asked me to take him to his hotel yesterday after camp. I'll be honest. I was a little intimidated. What would we talk about? How could I calmly drive this big, tall, ex-pro basketball player?!!! I had no choice, so I took a deep breath, told myself he's just a regular human being, just like I am, put the key in the ignition, and took him to his hotel. Our conversation ranged from the kids in the camp to his own kids to his life philosophy: No sense to worry. Do your best, and put the rest in God's hands. Simple, to the point, it has served him well, helped him keep his head on straight in a profession where many do not have the same success.

My sister and I talked further with him this morning. He told us about the opportunities he had when he was first drafted, about all the money he was making as a young kid, about the way some of his teammates spent their time and money. He said he never wanted to lose himself that way. That he wanted to have no regrets when he looked back on his life. And he says he has none.

It's all about the kids, he said. It's all about teaching them to make their lives count...all about making a difference, doing something good for others. At the end of the day if you can say you helped someone out, made a difference in their life, that's enough...that's all you can ask for.

He came for them...but he gave me something I'll not soon forget: a tangible, visible illustration of the difference you can make in a child's life in an hour, a day, a week. A perfect reminder as I get ready to start the new school year.

1 comment:

Sunny said...

What a wonderful and inspirational story.