Character Building through Green Participation Ribbons and the Full Court Press

I used to dominate the basketball court.

Making off-balance jump shots, sinking fade-away 3-pointers, slashing through the lane, functioning as a impenetrable defensive wall, banking sky-hooks from the free throw line; it was all part of the show. Playing hard for two hours straight was a drop in the bucket. Long after my opponents were worn down, I was taking it to them.

Yes, I was an all-star every year I played on the Spellman family home-school team. Functioning as both big man and little man, point guard, power forward, and center, our team dominated our opponents, who looked mysteriously like my siblings and other middle school kids in the youth group.

6 1/2 years of formal education later, you might be able to say I've lost a little of my competitive edge.

Whereas I once wore this as I dominated the court,

I now wear this when I enter the full-court frenzy.

Suffice it to say, that the rhetorical question could not be answered in the affirmative 12 1/2 minutes into the game. A game that once produced pride, now teaches me humility.

Though there was a time that "good shot" entailed a compliment as the ball was glancing off the backboard into the hoop from 35 feet, "good shot" can now be roughly translated as "nice try" or a "sound attempt" as the ball glances off the backboard and turns into a rebound.

In other words, they give me the green participation ribbon as I walk of the court.
August 29, 2007


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