I know what you are thinking? “What is Beverly doing talking about basketball; she doesn’t know a thing about the game of basketball!”
Well, maybe I know a little bit about basketball than I let on! My brothers played and I went to many games in high school and I even enjoyed going to basketball games at the community college in our town. Then when I married Jim; who knew basketball was so important in life? My favorite thing to say when a game is on is, “how many touchdowns have they made so far?” or “how’s the goalie doing today?” I enjoy watching a game when I know something about a player. That always helps to keep my attention. When my brothers played any sport, I just watched them. I knew their every move. I studied how they stood and how they treated the other players. One of my brothers had very skinny legs. I could always find him by looking for the legs that had one sock down and one up. My other brother (while playing football) always shrugged his shoulders and pulled on his shoulder pads a certain way. I had these games all figured out!
When our son was in elementary he played on the YMCA basketball teams each year. My Jim would coach his team each year. I loved going to watch Nathan play. He loved basketball and was just so cute!. He had the dreams of being an NBA player someday and Michael Jordan was his basketball hero. He lived in his Chicago Bulls jersey and shorts with the wristbands of course. He even slept with his basketball. The Pistol Pete movie was a staple in our house. Pistol Pete also had some training videos that someone loaned him and he had the moves down perfectly! When we began homeschooling Nathan, an afternoon of basketball practice in the driveway was a regular thing. When Jim would get home they would practice even longer. Oh, he was so cute! Did I say that already?
When Nathan was starting his jr. high year, the YMCA didn’t have a basketball program for that age. I was sad about not having a basketball team to be part of as I knew he would love it. I always looked forward to a magazine I received regularly for homeschool families. They would always highlight the homeschool group in San Antonio. They had a huge group and a basketball team that even traveled the state to play. I would always think, “If only we had that here!” I asked Jim if he could start one. He absolutely didn’t have the time during this season. He was a Minister of Education at this time and his days and evenings were always packed. So, what does one do?
She starts a basketball league! Yes, you heard that right! Beverly started a homeschool basketball league. Oh, how I needed a Basketball for Dummies book!
*I checked around for interest. Oh, yes, much interest.
*Prayed for a coach! I knew right away who. He was the custodian at our church and he was the nicest guy in the world. He would always encourage Nathan when he was playing ball in the gym waiting on his dad. He even looked like Michael Jordan! He was perfect! I just had to convince him….and I did! I was so excited and so was Nathan.
*Have a meeting with parents and boys that were interested in being a part. We had a packed meeting room. We voted on a team name, team colors and uniform style. We were all so excited!
*Find a gym to practice in. We bounced around from gyms and courts until a church her let us use their gym on a regular basis. Now, that was a blessing!
*Most important? We needed some teams to play against. My job was then to convince some local schools to play us and get a schedule going. My first call was to a coach at a private school. He was so kind and even excited about us playing his team. I think I convinced him I knew what I was doing. Little did he know I was on my knees right before the call asking for favor and clarity of who we were. I was so nervous. After talking with him and he was so excited, I was on a roll! I made more calls and eventually we had a good schedule of games with a few private schools, christian schools and even a public school.
We are ready! When I do things, I have a tendency to dream really big. I pictured us traveling to other cities to play; such as the San Antonio team. I had a lady contact me about a team of cheerleaders! Oh, this was going to be so exciting. And it was….I loved watching the games and our coach was the best. He was a gentle, kind and talented coach. Jim was pretty impressed, too! We didn’t have any problems anywhere. Parents were excited for their boys to be on a team that was playing basketball and learning character from our amazing coach! It was all going as planned. My dreams of a bus and travel were on the horizon….until…..
One day in the middle of schooling, I got a call from a man who said he heard I started a homeschool basketball team. I said, “yes, do you have a son who wants to play?” He said, “I do, I have two boys that I would like for them to play. But, first I want to make sure this team is a good team and it’s done right or I will just form my own team.” His statement took me back and I said, “Well, I’m doing the best I can and it’s going great and there would be no reason for you to start your own team, just come on board and help us!” He then told me he wanted to have a meeting with me and our coach. I agreed to a meeting and our coach met us as well. This man had brought a retired high school coach from a public school in the area. Remember I was a bit naive and a bit trusting. This is the time I learned….one more time……some serious life lessons!
Long story short, this man and two other men basically took over the program in time. They weren’t too nice about it either. I was in a pickle. I didn’t want to bother Jim with all the drama as he was so busy at this time. I didn’t want to ruin any chances of Nathan and the other boys who loved playing to miss this opportunity. I didn’t talk about the negatives as I didn’t want it to affect Nathan. I acted as if everything was normal and okay. After this man fired our coach, whom I loved, I was heart sick. I didn’t even know what to do. They even canceled some of the teams to play that I worked really hard to get claiming they were too good for us to play. My opinion was, I felt it was good for them to play good teams to get stronger. But, what do I know! We made it through our Jr. High year and we were in the process of moving to Tennessee. This man and his coaches didn’t keep the team going. I was sad to hear that and have always wished I would have stood up to him and said “I’m sorry, your boys are welcome to play if they want, but, we are good thank you!”
What did I learn from this ordeal?
*I learned that I really love organizing! I really love watching my son play basketball! I loved seeing the other boys excited about being on a team! I learned that the Lord provides just who you need to pull something like this off! I learned the enemy is always in the wings ready to destroy something that is a good thing and will use whoever is willing!
*I learned that we can really do anything we want to. We just need confidence. We have to be on guard and ready for whatever comes and handle it with grace and humility. Some things are worth fighting for and some things aren’t. We need the wisdom to know which one it is.
*I learned that life isn’t as serious as some take it. Basketball is an amazing sport. Teamwork is important and such a great learning opportunity. Basketball teams need leaders who love the sport, kids, parents and not have an ego issue.
*I learned once again….people will disappoint. People will even try to hurt you on purpose. People will step on whoever they have to to get what they want.
“I learned you have to forgive and seek God’s guidance in every step we take. There is more at stake than a basketball.
*I learned there are some amazing parents and young boys who just love basketball and want to play. There are people who want excellence and will do whatever it takes to have a first class program that brings honor to the Lord. Building character in young men is the most important in sports in my opinion.
So see…..I know a bit about basketball. I’m now watching the LSU vs. Iowa ladies basketball game with My Jim. Okay, maybe it’s just to see the fashion choice for the LSU coach…..you just never know!
If you want to check out the San Antonio Homeschool Group, FEAST, click here. I’ve just read about them, I don’t know anyone that is connected to them. Their site has a wealth of info on so many things.
“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Until next time,