I’ve been spending some of my North Carolina evenings shooting hoops, taking advantage of the opportunity to get outside during the winter months. Shooting around was something that I did growing up, but gave up after 9th grade basketball season. Why? At the time, I spent a lot of the time on the bench, and even though I loved my team, I wasn’t in love with the sport enough to try to keep playing in high school. I was okay taking my talents elsewhere and focusing on running. I never really missed it, but it was a game that my Dad loved. He was a proud member of the 1972 Sectional Championship team of the Pine Village Pine Knots. When I was growing up, my Dad would play pick-up basketball at the Oxford gym on Wednesday nights. He loved it. And I don’t remember when he stopped playing (possibly when he was diagnosed with cancer), but he definitely continued watching every Purdue game and loved watching his daughters and grandkids play. There was even that game in 5th grade when I was the leading scorer against the Boswell Blackhawks. I was fouled, made 1 free throw, and was a highlight for the Oxford Blue Devils as we lost 50 something to 1. Shout out to you if if you were in that gym that night! I know that he would be so proud of his oldest granddaughters Emma and Claire who are part of the 2020 Benton Central Lady Bison Sectional Championship team. I know that he was cheering them on from heaven.
I’ve played a few games of HORSE or PIG throughout the years, but really no desire to get back into playing basketball. Watching basketball, definitely, but not really playing. When my Dad’s birthday rolled around this January, I thought, I could buy a basketball and shoot at the hoop at the top of the hill in my neighborhood. I did, and have spent a few times just shooting around. And guess what, it is so much fun! There’s no pressure to win. No one cares if my shot goes in or not. And, I have found that the more I practice, the better that I am getting. It’s a way to relieve stress, and I’ve really been enjoying it. I understand why my Dad enjoyed shooting for hours as he was growing up. At times, it feels like he’s there with me shooting baskets, and I guess that’s probably the part that I love the most. A fun way to honor his memory and feel his spirit.
So, maybe I forgot that I did love playing basketball. Because as I spend my evenings around the hoop, it’s hard to remember why I gave it up. Maybe I took a break, and maybe I never quit. Maybe Dad took a break when he could no longer physically play, and maybe he never quit either. Just taking a rest as an opportunity to encourage and cheer on (or yell at!) other players. I’m pretty sure he is drilling threes in heaven, playing with his teammates that were lost along the way, including my Uncle Steve. I bet they are celebrating a Lady Bison victory, and I know that he is happy watching me shoot around, and that Emma and Claire got to be on a championship winning team. I always wanted to make my Dad proud, and even though I wasn’t the best basketball player growing up, I know that he was always proud of me and is still. One lesson that I have learned is that when you love something, you don’t quit.
4 thoughts on “When you love something, you don’t quit”
A very beautiful tribute, not just to your dad, but for both you & your dad. He was a very nice man who was proud of his family. Rightfully so.
Your story of shooting hoops with your dad, I can imagine.
I would see him @ girls basketball games @ BC. I was there to watch friend’s grandchildren. He said he attends the home games @ BC, while some other family members went to all the away games. He was a real trooper! Proud of his daughters, his grandchildren & loved his family very much. He was an inspiration to my husband, setting example of in spite of your illness or pain, being with family was most important.
I know your dad loved each of his daughters unconditionally. He was so proud.
Hold those memories in your heart forever. He is with you @ all times, even shooting hoops!! Much love,
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Jill, thank you so much for sharing and taking the time to comment. Your words really mean a lot to me and I’ve shared them with my mom and sisters. Yes, family was always first. So many games he watched up at BC. I’m so happy he could inspire your husband and family. I don’t know if Dad ever knew the impact that he had just by keeping on and not complaining. Been thinking about you too. Yes, they are always with us!!! Much love. ♥️
Steve was my classmate and such a sweet, kind human being! We (Carnahans) were the poor kids in PV High, but Steve was always very nice to me when others could be so cruel. My husband and I were missionaries to the US military in Germany, Korea and Guam, so I was never able to attend class reunions. sadly. We now are retired living in Killeen, TX, and will hopefully be able to attend the next reunion that is held. Don’t know who is arranging it, but I know all will be missing Steven Fellure.
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Thank you Joy for sharing! Yes, he definitely was! I appreciate you sharing this story. I was lucky to have him as my uncle. Losing uncle Steve, my grandma and dad has really inspired me to start my blog, and many stories are about them. Oh yes, I hope you can attend as well! I know my mom (Valerie) is in the last graduating class of PV, so I think they’ll definitely want to do something for their 50th. Not sure if you heard, but the Pine village gym will be torn down. Sad, as I know there were a lot of memories. I hope you and your husband are enjoying Texas!