Our eldest daughter, Kelli, began to play organized basketball when she was in the 4th grade – 12 seasons ago. I spent that first year in the stands but the following moved to the sidelines as a volunteer coach. I kept coaching Kelli until she made her high school team (where she finally enjoyed the benefits of a professional coach).
When our youngest, Jamie, began to play (also in 4th grade) I found myself once again on the sidelines. That season I coached (with a lot of help) both an 8th and 4th grade team. Jamie also moved on to more experienced coaching and for the last couple of years I’ve moved from the stands to the bench to the scorers table where I quietly (because that’s the rule) run the clock and scoreboard.
Tonight is Senior Recognition Night for Jamie’s high school. Kim and I will get the honor of standing beside her as she plays in her last regular season game.
This afternoon I’ve been thinking about how much 12 seasons of basketball have defined our lives and our family. I’ve coached 9 different teams. Kim has served as team mom too many times to count. My office shelves contain pictures and mementos of teams from South Carolina to California to Houston. It has been a rich and rewarding adventure and I wouldn't trade a single moment.
Tonight, in a sense (because who knows how deep we might go in post-season play), after 12 amazing years the basketball season finally ends for our family.
And to be honest I’m a little sad….