Tim Bohlke » // writings

Right out of Hoosiers

There is nothing like March Madness. I grew up in a family that loved basketball, and ever since I can remember I had a ball in my hands. As a kid, there were countless hours playing on a dirt barnyard, shooting at a rim that was attached to the side of our barn. It was like a scene right out of movie… Hoosiers.

In small town Nebraska, most everything circled around the high school sports scene. Just like the movie. I remember our road games in High School, and typically a bunch of cars following the bus into “enemy territory.” I was a pretty good player, but the real talent skipped a generation. My dad played basketball in college, and he was generally known as the man to stop. I have a priceless newspaper clipping of him shooting a shot against the Harlem Globe trotters back in the 50s.

Then there are my kids. All of them loved the sport, and all of them are really good basketball players. My daughter could out shoot all of them when she was playing. One son was a starter on one of the biggest and most talented  high school teams in the state. And our youngest, well he got some of the good stuff from my dad. He finished this last years as an All State player, and was  his school’s second all time leading scorer. Yah,basketball runs deep, and even as I write this it is giving me some extra insight into why this last winter has been so long and hard, and why it seems like I have been in a funk for months. It is the first winter in a very long time when I have not had “skin in the game.”

And I really miss it.

I actually started coaching my oldest son’s team when he was in second grade, and I was able to coach for like 19 years between all three of my kids. Then we got to watch each of them play through high school. And who knows? We may even have a few more years in the gym with our youngest.  That’s a lot of time in the gym, and I loved every minute of it.

I am geared up to watch some great basketball these next three weeks, and I am pretty excited to see the Huskers in the big dance for the first time in 15 years. But nothing comes close to watching my kids play. What a riot.

A couple of things come to mind here:

  • Even though I loved hoops, and I certainly had some influence on exposing my kids to the sport, it was their passion that drove them to be good. It was their love for it–not mine–that made it really fun.
  • Don’t miss the moments. It is a cliche… but it is so true. I am so glad I made it a priority, so glad I was in the gym for all those games. So many  lessons, struggles, exciting moments, disappointments, conversations, fun and adventures happened around something they all loved doing. Now that is worth it.

Time to watch Hoosiers again…

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