Thursday, February 9, 2012
Enjoying it while I can
This past weekend was one of those that had me reminiscing.
Friday night was “Senior Night” at the gym.
Saturday morning was our last ESCRA (East Shelby Church Recreation Association) youth basketball game of the season.
Andy is a high school senior.
Erin is a fourth grader.
It was Andy’s last basketball in the Marshall Academy gymnasium, a place he has spent countless hours since elementary school.
It goes far beyond the scheduled practices and the games the past eight years. When he didn’t have a driver’s license, he would walk to the gym from our house and hope it was open. Since he’s gotten an automobile, he has often left the house at nights or on weekends and said, “I’m going to get Coach Dailey’s key and go to the gym and shoot.”
Basically, the gym has been his second home.
I thought I loved basketball growing up. My son loves it even more.
I was leaving the gym Friday night and one of Andy’s good friends and classmates, Tyler Cook, overheard us saying something about Erin’s ESCRA game the next morning.
“Are you still coaching?” asked Tyler, with a big smile.
“Yes, you know I love it, but tomorrow will wrap it up,” I remarked.
A couple of years after moving to Holly Springs, I got “drafted” to coach boys basketball in the youth league. Andy and several of his classmates were a part of that team.
They will be graduating from high school May 21.
Where has the time gone?
One of my prized possession is a plaque in my office, given to me by one of the parents, that reads “Coach Barry, World’s Greatest Coach – 2003-2006.” It’s a tiny exaggeration. Most of all, it’s a daily reminder of a great group of kids and parents and the fun we had together during those elementary years.
Our kids play in the ESCRA league through the fourth grade. Next year, Erin and her classmates will move up to school basketball.
I feel like I’ve been to about every church on this side of the interstate in Shelby County, Tenn. When Andy played, most of our games were in the Collierville area. But that has not been the case with Erin. It has been about an hour-long trip on Saturday mornings – with games starting at 9 occasionally.
Helping coach Erin’s team with Paul McKinney this season has been great. What we do is all about the children, teaching them some basketball skills and making sure they have fun.
Erin, because of spending time with Andy outside shooting on the goal in the driveway and because of accompanying us to most all of his games, has developed what I think is an equal love for basketball.
He pushes her, in a fun manner. She loves the attention from her big brother.
Andy, hopefully, has four weeks of high school basketball left. Pam and I plan to follow him in years to come as he embarks on a coaching career.
Erin’s basketball-playing days, on the other hand, are just beginning.
Our children grow up too fast. Emma is a few months away from being a senior in college.
“Enjoy it while you can,” I’ve been told over and over.
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