My internal calendar is a bit out of whack. We all know about internal clocks which help us wake up on Saturdays at the same time we wake up Monday through Friday. However, I’m talking about the internal calendar which tells us that this time of year calls for a certain schedule.
In accord with my past 8 years or so, this past Saturday would have been week number 2 of the Upward Basketball season at Bethel Church in San Jose. This year, it was simply Saturday.
There were many challenges in running this program. But right now, I honestly can’t remember any of them. The memory which plays over and over in my mind is summarized in the photo above.
I miss the kids. I miss the energy and enthusiasm which brought the Life Center gym to life. I would arrive at the gym about 7:30-8:00 AM on game days. The gym was dark and quiet. But roll around 8:40 AM, kids and their parents would begin to trickle in. By the 9:00 tip-off of the opening games, the place was buzzing. I miss the parents with their cameras doing their best to balance the dual instincts to capture the memories while cheering for their kids and their teammates. I can only imagine the countless home videos which, in order to watch without getting motion sickness, would require a double dosage of Dramamine.
Two years ago, I felt like my time in running Upward Basketball was coming to a close. I stuck around for two more years because I just didn’t feel completely released to walk away. Last November, I submitted my letter of resignation. I simply felt I had taken it as far as I could. Little did I know that by the time the summer basketball camp would have been going on, and as the planning for the upcoming season would have been in motion, I would be packing my belongings to move to a new community.
I miss those kids. I miss the cheering. I miss those moments where a child who has little athletic ability gets their moment in the sun when they make a basket. I always made it a priority to my coaches to make sure that every child scored a basket during the season. I’ve even seen coaches lift up a small child, hold them up to the basket while they drop the ball through for 2 points! The cheering throughout the gym would be deafening. The smiles…unforgettable.
I don’t know if they will remember me years from now, but I’ll never forget them.