If there is one thing that most definitely defines our family’s life, it is basketball.
Not DIY projects or decorating, but basketball.
You see, Grunt Labor is a middle school basketball coach.
And a damn good one.
And over the years, these precious boys have not just been our players, but have slyly worked their way into our hearts and home with their little grins that I can never say no to.
Well, I say no when they ask for things like a $200 pair of basketball shoes. But one, “Ms. Jenna, I really need these socks for game days” and I tend to give in.
Prime example when they all wanted bright pink socks for the breast cancer game.
They have completely figured out how to work the system. They bypass Grunt Labor and come straight to me when anything is needed.
And the kid.
Oh, the kid loves her big brothers.
All 15+ of them.
See, even though they leave middle school, they don’t get rid of us.
Our house is a five minute walk away from the high school. And where do they come before games?
And we have Little Caesar’s $5 pizzas or the dollar menu at McDonald’s.
And I live for those moments.
In my opinion, next to Grunt Labor of course, one of the best basketball coaches of all time was Jim Valvano, better known as Jimmy V.
And if you watch ESPN or have any males in the house, you may have seen that this past week has been Jimmy V week.
Jimmy V was one of the most passionate, enthusiastic, and inspiring men to ever walk this earth.
One of the most amazing college basketball games and really, college basketball seasons was when he led the Wolfpack to win the 1983 NCAA Basketball Tournament. It was a magical Cinderella season. See the video here.
His life was cut short by cancer in 1993. Below is the speech he gave at the 1993 ESPY awards when he accepted the Arthur Ashe award for courage.
When I taught middle school, every year during Jimmy V week, I made my students watch this speech and it never failed to amaze me how even 7th graders were touched by a speech.
So, today take a little time and watch this speech. I’m a hardass and I’ve never once been able to make it through the entire speech without my eyes glazing over a bit.
And if you have a little extra money this holiday season, how about sharing with the V foundation for cancer research?
But, most of all…..
If there is one thing, I can ever teach the kid and my boys, and pass along to you, it is the wisdom of Jimmy V.
And luckily, I’m blessed that Grunt Labor does it at every practice, every game, and every moment we are graced by a wild pack of boys and one circus of a little girl in the middle of it all.