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Unexpected Basketball Gifts On Fathers Day
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This Father's Day was Sunday, June 20, 2011, provided some unexpected and I am sure unintended basketball gifts for me. Normally, I might have decided to engage in the manly things that men like to do on their one day of celebration during the calendar year like play golf, sleep late, go fishing, or enjoy my children's well-wishes while bowing to their demands to make this the heralded day that Father's Day is advertised to be.

But this year seemed quite different for me, not because my older children have grown and are out of the home because I still have one fourteen year old son that has kept me active, no, I think it was because of the activities that impacted me personally.

The first thing I noted was that President Obama served as an Assistant Basketball coach for his daughter's Sasha's team. This is remarkable considering the weighty issues he is facing on a daily basis. These issues range from wars, homeland security, budgets, unemployment and many other challenges to numerous to mention. But here he is on this weekend, coaching a girls 10 old basketball team. He reportedly was doing this in part because of the absence of his own father in his life as a young man as well as demonstrating the importance of giving unconditional love and structure today to his family even though he is single most important leader on this planet.

The second thing I noted was an article in the Sunday Paper that reminded me of the death of Len Bias that occurred twent-five (25) years ago while attending the University of Maryland. This was a young man that seemingly had an unlimited upside as he had become the number two NBA draft pick by the Boston Celtics. However, due to an unfortunate life's choice became a victim of a drug overdose.

As unsettling as the death of Len Bias was, I knew that I had to tuck that memory back in my mind because I had to coach my boy's fifth grade team and also coach my son's eighth grade team until his coach could arrive. I had to find a balance between these two events separated by 25 years and I found the unexpected gifts of basketball on Father's Day as my refuge.

The unexpected basketball gifts that I received on this Father's Day were ten fold what I had given to the Powerstroke fifth grade boys team. It is a wonderful gift when you experience the excited look from your players after they have achieved a defensive stop and convert the turnover into a basket. It is a wonderful gift as you stand on the sidelines and watch the offense actually get run and make a basket. It is also a gift when the team experiences a turnover and the opposing team converts a basket and your team responds with focus and a concerted effort to regain their competitive advantage. It is a gift when your team shows courage and battles back to win after being behind during the course of a game. And it is a gift to watch humility and sportsmanship exhibited even though you have just lost a game.

Oh, as a final note, we played five games over the Father's Day weekend, and we won three and lost 2 games. Not a bad way to spend Father's Day and receive all these unexpected basketball gifts.


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