I’m not a big fan of winter. I just don’t like the cold. It likely goes back to the years on the farm and working with the livestock on those cold winter days. Despite the onset of winter, I absolutely love the week after thanksgiving because it means the start of basketball season.
That sport runs deep for me. I grew up watching basketball, playing it, learning it, and loving the game at every level. The first hoop I shot at was nailed up to the side of our barn. It was a scene straight out of “Hoosiers.”
But as much as I loved playing, the real joy came when we had kids. We were lucky enough that all three of our kids loved the basketball and had a lot talent. When our oldest was in third grade I started coaching his team, and got to do that for each of our kids in their early years. Our oldest transferred to the biggest high school in the state for the challenge of playing basketball there. It was a blast watching him through those high school years. Our daughter was a lights-out three-point shooter.
And our youngest showed his talent from a very early age. It was obvious to all who watched that he had some special God-given talent. The recruiting started early in high school. He was a varsity starter as a freshman. At the end of his junior year, just when things started to heat up and a Division 1 scholarship at a dream school was looking like a real possibility, injuries hit. The next two years included three surgeries and countless hours of rehab and training. Likely the dream of playing D-1 basketball ended this last summer on a recruiting trip when he realized his body just was not going to let him play at his former level
We have had plenty of questions and a ton of disappointment over the last two years. Why does God seem to gift someone, give him a heart and passion to chase that dream, yet seemingly allow that pursuit to be blocked again and again? And Dylan, and I often wondered where God was in the quiet.
But through this journey, a young man’s identity began to shift from being a basketball player to something much bigger. My perspective of his journey and what is really worth celebrating began to change as well.
Check out this short video a church did on Dylan’s journey:
I still love basketball but my perspective on the sport, and what it can teach has deepened a ton. So as the cold sets in this December, I still get excited for the season, but it is different. Maybe the answer for me now is to escape the cold, head to San Diego for a couple of months and watch some hoops there…
I’m liking that vision the more I think about it.