This biweekly column features life lessons and fresh perspectives on local sports from The Sports Report’s Calli Newberry.
I had never seen someone so excited to make a basket before. It was the highlight of my night, as I’m sure it was for many others as well.
At halftime of one of the girls basketball games last week, a youth basketball program brought out a group of about 25 elementary athletes to the court. They were split into two teams for an exciting game in front of their family and friends.
It went about as expected, like a school of fish swimming back and forth, following the ball with a few passes here and there and a lot of traveling and heaving toward the hoop. That’s when one girl got the ball, turned toward the basket from about the free-throw line, and sent it in the air through a crowd of defenders – and it went in!
It was the first score of the game. She jumped up and down with her fists pumping as the rest of the girls stood around, waiting to get the ball back and run to the other end of the court.
The crowd politely cheered and shared inevitable laughter. This little girl’s basket, while impressive, went in the wrong hoop. But nobody told her that. Instead, the game went on and she ran down the court with a smile on her face the whole way. It was adorable.
That right there is why I love sports: the proud moments, the goals that are finally achieved, and the genuine love of the game. I’m not sure if that girl ever found out that her basket went in the wrong hoop, but I hope she never forgets the feeling she had after she made it.
And I hope high school athletes will remember that same childlike joy that comes from playing their sports, celebrating each little win along the way this season.
For in-game updates and other news, follow Calli on Twitter @ newberry_calli
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