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Inspirational Reads

Championship Week(s)

March 5, 2007

Well, my picks aren't turning out so well. I will add that I think that Louisville and Georgia Tech are both definitely in now. K State still might have to garner a win in the Big XII tournament, only because the northern half of the conference is so weak this year. If George Mason wins tonight, someone's at large berth just went poof, which might mean someone like Illinois or Syracuse needs to win a first-round game in their tournament.

But, I'm not here to talk about that.

Tonight was my daughter's championship game. Technically, it was Saturday morning, but since they won Saturday and it's a double-elimination tournament, they played tonight for the whole thing. I wish I could report positive news on the outcome, but it was a heartbreaker. Her team just couldn't handle the press and gave up a few turnovers that led to easy lay ups and the 5-point lead vanished in seconds. Considering they were the forth-seeded team in the tournament and had to beat 1, 3 and 2 twice, I'd say it was a success.

More importantly, my daughter left the gym loving basketball, which is what I really wanted. She obviously took a very positive experience from this, and her coach made sure she felt like a part of the team. Tonight, she even got a rebound (but stepped on the baseline while chasing it down) and then went down and fouled a kid trying to drive into the lane. Considering how sick she was last week, that was pretty good that she was out there that long and contributed.

Clearly, she landed on a good team with an excellent coach. I measure a coach not so much by the wins and losses, but by how improved his players are at the end of the season versus the beginning. Well, the three worst players on the team all grew in confidence if not in skills. One of the kids even attempted a shot tonight, and he never shot during the season. One of the other kids also was calling for the ball down on the blocks, which I'd never seen before, either. The other five kids who were all pretty good got better, too, especially when it came to teamwork. So, overall, I'd say he did an excellent job and he said he would try to keep the same team together again next year. With this news, my daughter beamed with excitement.

As for the coach on the other sideline: total class act. I wouldn't have guessed it (mostly because he wore a Bears visor), but he was very gracious Saturday morning when my daughter's team upset them and then again tonight when the game was over. Plus, all of the fans (myself included) behaved themselves and clapped for the other team whenever they had a good play. One back-breaker for the other team was this kid who did a beautiful box out for a rebound and then went right back up with it. Reminded me of my earlier days. So, in all, it was a very positive experience and my daughter is definitely looking forward to next winter when she gets to start it all over again.

And that's what I wanted most for her to get out of this.


Chemgeek said...

Let's face it. The jackasses get the headlines and the good guys never get mentioned. With all the things wrong with youth sports (and sports in general, just ask Tyler Hansbrough) it is good and important to hear the good things, which probably out number the bad 3 million to 2! (exclamation point used for emphasis and not a factorial operation though 2! = 2 anyways, so it doesn't really matter...nevermind) I hope my daughters get the same thing out of sports that your daughter did. Enjoy it, appreciate it, take it seriously, but don't let it rule you or change who you are. Bottom line: I appreciate the sentiment of your post.

As for the college basketball picks, I am still in awe of the "pick" post. Well done... Sorry about Gonzaga.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Hopefully this is like you said, more common than it isn't. There's only been a couple of really bad coaches that we've run into, but my daughter didn't absolutely love soccer like she loves basketball. I think Coach Shaun did a great job.

As for the picks just proves that I probably spend way too much time thinking about this stuff...

Ψ*Ψ said...

Woohoo! My team survived the first round of the conference tournament! ...I figured this was the best outlet for my excitement.

Chemgeek said...

Congrats Ψ*Ψ! I wish I had something to be excited about. My "team" (Minnesota Gophers) are a true bubble team. By that I mean they are the sludge that gets digested in the bottom of the pond and turned into bubbles that the true bubbles teams float on as teams that are "on the bubble." Oh well, at least we have hockey.

Ψ*Ψ said...

Well, never mind my excitement. We lost the following game and are now an 8 seed for the NCAA. Aaaaand I'm betting we'll be out by the second round at the latest.

Of course, this probably gives you a good guess where I am, but it doesn't matter so much at this point.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I could hazard a guess, psistarpsi, but I'm confused as to why you didn't list Indiana on your list of evildoers, if my guess is correct.

Notice how I'm keeping the anonymity on here. ;-)