Just some thoughts:
THE DREAM LIVES ON
This past week something happened in Washington, D.C. that caused me to think of something I saw this past summer while I was back home in Indiana and driving in the country.
It was something I had seen many times in my life but not in recent times. It almost brought me to tears. What was it one might ask. It was a kid shoot a basketball at a hoop. Big deal you say. Yeah, big deal it was. It wasn’t just any kid shooting at any basket. But it was a kid, a farm, shooting at a basket posted on a barn.
I was somewhere between Crawfordsville and Rockville, Indiana. Earlier in the day I had been in Frankfort and Oxford, Indiana playing golf. As I past thru this little burg about a mile out of town was this farm and not far from the farm house I saw this kid. This kid shooting baskets all alone at a barn.
The scene caused me to slow down, well actually I kinda pulled off the road just to watch a moment. The kid probably was 8, 9 maybe 10 years old or there a bouts. I made that judgement by his shooting skills. He was too small, too young to be shooting the ball with perfected skill. His shot was more like all of us in our early days, more like a “throw from the hip.” Watching this kid shoot reminded me of the first basketball goal I had. A goal my dad had posted for me on the old red barn where we lived on the Ray Woods place a few miles south of Terre Haute. (The community of Pimento) From about the same age I shot hundred’s, thousands of shots in all kinds of weather and in all kinds of conditions. Rain, snow, gloves on you name it many and Indiana kid has played in all the elements. Hey it was a barn yard, watch out for the chicken manure.
Ok now what does what happened last night in Washington and the memory of this kid shooting at the basket on the barn have to do with one another. Both of them have to do with a “Dream.”
Last night Garrison Mathews, who is a rookie on the roster of the NBA Washington Wizards had a dream night. Rookies generally don’t play much. First of all think of all the people in the world who play basketball and how special it is just to be a member of a professional team. Last night Mathews was inserted into the line-up. His first shot he makes a 3pt Rick Mount fall away shot from the corner. Next thing you know he makes two 3pt shots that were from Jimmy Rayl land. (Only if you are from Indiana do you understand those two references) Now he’s hot, the crowd senses something, the announcers raise their voices, players on the bench wave a towel. Make a long story short on this night Mathews, a rookie from Franklin, TN and Lipscomb University scored 29 points.
I first saw Matthews play high school ball here where I live. He was pretty good, but I even questioned was he good enough to play division one college basketball. Then I watched him play for four years at Lipscomb. Often I would go early to games, as early as hour and half, cause I knew Mathews would be on the court that long before game time just shooting, shot after shot, practicing. When he graduated and was drafted by the pros I thought, “well now that’s nice.”
You just never know about a lot of things in this life. So if you ever see a kid out shooting baskets by himself you might say to him, yell out to him:
“Hey, kid you keep shootin’ those baskets up against the barn.
Who knows someday you may score 29 points.”
January 3, 2020