Anyone who knows me probably know that for the majority of my professional career, I was a sports writer. Got to sit in press boxes, watch games covered by ESPN and CBS and interview star athletes. I covered more than one national championship and even got to go to the White House one time. Heck, Michael Jordan even borrowed my pen once.
But none of it compares to watching my son play.
Grant, who is 8 now, has played Upward Basketball for the last three years. For those who don’t know, Upward is (supposedly) a non-competitive version of youth basketball that combines athletic training with biblically-based teaching. I say “supposedly” because although at Grant’s age, standings are not kept and scores not recorded, most of the kids keep the wins, losses and points in their head. Big surprise.
Grant, especially. Not sure where he got it from, but my kid is one of the most competitive people I’ve ever known. He loves to win. No, really, he LOVES to win. And he pushes himself to excel. Like I said, this is his third year and you can really see the improvement in his game. OK, so I’m being a proud dad now, but he has some skills. He can shoot a little, and he can dribble under control from one end of the court to the other. He’s not exactly fast (he inherited his dad’s speed), but he knows and understands the game pretty well, especially for an 8-year-old. I don’t harbor any NBA dreams, but right now he’s having fun and that’s all that matters.
Hopefully that’s all that ever will matter. I was never much of an athlete myself, so I get a kick out of watching him play. But too many parents take it too far and try to live out their athletic fantasies through their children. Not good for the parents or the child. As long as Grant is enjoying himself and wants to play, he’ll play. The second it becomes a job, it ends.
I don’t shoot all his games; sometimes it’s just fun to sit and watch. But every once in a while, I’ll take my camera and shoot a few. Here’s some from one of his recent games. Enjoy!
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