February 5th, 2016 | Uncategorized
Every Wednesday and Thursday, Jazmen and I spend our afternoons coaching at the Mercy Primary School in Waterford. Over the course of these two days, we put each of the eleven classes at Mercy through a half-hour basketball session. Most of the kids, aged eight to thirteen, have limited or no basketball experience, so the sessions are less about rigorously improving their skills and more about making sure they have fun.
This week marked our fourth week working with this group of kids, and a certain special milestone for one of the girls. Jazmen had half of the class playing a passing game while I had the other half shooting layups when someone scored and, fists rocketing into the air, shouted,
“That’s the first basket I ever made!”
She was absolutely delighted with herself. Her excitement brought me back to my younger days and made me think of the first basket I ever scored. I was eight years old playing in a recreational basketball league in my own primary school in Twinsburg, Ohio. Although the rims were eight feet tall, I still struggled to reach them for a long time. When I finally did make my first basket, I remember being exhilarated, just like the little girl from Mercy.
Being a witness to the girl’s first basket was special to me because I understood just how thrilling of an accomplishment it was. Fifteen years and thousands of miles separated our first baskets, yet the feelings of pride and excitement were identical.
These are the moments that make me thankful to be a coach for Sport Changes Life—moments in which I can see the same love and passion I have for basketball alive in the hearts of the young people I coach.
Victory Scholar: Katie Fox
Present University: Waterford IT
US League: NEC
Club/Community Partner: Waterford Wildcats
Alma Mater: St. Francis College
Sponsored by: Teamwear Ireland