At least for this year.
Our girls’ basketball season was incredibly memorable,
yet this is us heading home from the final game.
Most of the team are girls who will graduate and move on.
Even our coach is moving this year.
Although we are looking forward to what next year might bring it is good to stop and reflect on this year.
Some amazing moments of team effort.
Like winning a playoff game by 3 points in the last of the fourth quarter.
Making it farther than any girls team from the school in about 20 years.
Pushing through the tough times when injuries had our starters on the bench.
Even the sorrow of loss fading before the pain of an injury in our last game.
Yet with all the blessings of this season and all the excitement it has held,
some of the best things never occurred on the court.
The memories of the send off by several of the younger grades– cards and posters and cheering.
The joy of seeing the girls just hang together.
The chance to love and encourage each one.
On top of all this,
the most memorable event of this basketball season occurred when we couldn’t make the game.
However, we heard about it from many different sources.
While playing Pacific our boys’ team was losing a close game.
Near the end of the game the other team put in a Senior who has never played a Varsity game and it was their Senior night.
Our boys stepped up with sportsmanship.
Not only did they let him steal the ball twice they let him shoot.
He was able to make four points in the game.
Our girls’ team and our fans gave the young man a standing ovation as he was taken out of the game.
All of it meant a lot to our daughter who was a member of the girls’ team.
I asked her about it later.
“Honey, I think it’s so neat everyone did that. How did the other girls feel about it?”
” Mom, it was so special to get to cheer like that and we were so proud of the boys because they had played so hard to win. But the other girls really understood about the boy Mom. Because so many of us have family members like him.”
She was thinking of her brother, who has a communication disorder and although is much improved still has trouble with unknown people and places.
I thought of another girl on our team whose sister is both mentally and physically handicapped and has to be carried or pushed in her wheelchair.
Another girl has a sister whose daughter is mentally handicapped.
Yet I dislike using the words handicapped or disorder to describe anyone, because the difference in their abilities isn’t a bad thing.
In fact often times they are incredible people who can teach so much about love and understanding and perseverance and starting fresh each day.
True joy so often shines out of our son’s face, no matter how his day has gone or what struggles he has had, it normally only takes a hug to bring back a smile.
Our Superintendent received a letter from the principal of Pacific in regards to the actions of the boys’ basketball team, the girls’ team, and the fans.
It was printed in our local paper put out by the fire department.
I loved one line especially.
” What this game meant to Austin was more than anyone could ever imagine. Having everybody, including the opponents support Austin as he suited up as a Pirate for a final time was an experience that he will never forget. ”
I smile as I think of it.
What more could we possibly give than that?
Wins and losses will be forgotten by most.
Who played in which games will be washed from memory by the passage of time.
But to give to another the love and support our teams and fans gave Austin is far more important than who won or who played.
To live a life of love, no matter what team your on.
Now that’s something to cheer for!