February 15th, 2014 | Uncategorized
I was lucky to play basketball with my sister Christine for three years in high school. It was the highlight of my basketball career, although I didn’t know or appreciate it at the time. Once I started my college career, I quickly realized that my passion for basketball was closely intertwined with my relationship with Christine. Some of my fondest basketball memories include going to the gym just the two of us and spending hours making up our own plays (2-0) we would use in our in-town games and championships (we were about 12…)! Or the ridiculous passes I could throw to Christine from anywhere she would catch for an “and one”—passes that go flying out of bounds to anyone. We had that 6th sense, and I don’t think that either of us completely realized it until it was over. Our unique friendship continued to grow at a distance as she played at Holy Cross and I played at Merrimack. Despite busy schedules, we made it to any games that didn’t conflict, often packing some of our own teammates in the car for the 1-hour drive between campuses. Because of how close Christine, Madelyn and I are, both teams quickly became part of our extended family.
So while not playing with Christine was a challenge, we both continued to grow and mature. I got to see Holy Cross play when I was home for break, but Christine was sidelined with an illness. Luckily, my (not so little any more) youngest sister Madelyn who also plays at Holy Cross played lots of minutes and made it all worth it. Although I wasn’t able to see Christine play in person this year, I have watched more games online (at 12pm Ireland time) than I have been able to in the past, and for that I am so thankful.
I get emotional at all senior nights; my own memories from high school and college basketball emphasize how transformative those years are on our lives. Even if I don’t know the kids playing, a few tears are a guarantee. Now I’m watching Christine play in her college senior night. And when it’s my other half, it hurts to watch this era come to a close. Nothing compares to college athletics. However, once you can appreciate all that it gave you and the memories you have and will cherish forever, you also recognize just how much the rest of the world—that serious athletes often miss out on—has to offer. I am so proud of you Riskay, and so glad that you and Madelyn have the chance to play together this year and that mom and dad are there for your special night. Hugs from Dublin <3