Every now and again I am reminded of a part of my life that now seems gone with the wind. As a boy, I was a REALLY good basketball player. In fact, as a high schooler, I played for a United States team overseas in Italy. I haven’t so much as shot a ball in more than 10 years now, but I will never forget what it was like to play in a packed gym, on a Friday night, for the pride of your school. At the time, I know I took it for granted as I did it all the time and played almost every minute of every game. For so many of my teammates over the years though, they never got the moments I did. They never got to take/make a game-winning shot. They never got to hear the silence and then the euphoria over a made free throw attempt with the game on the line. No, they just loved the game with all their hearts and would have given anything to have any of those experiences. This is what was going through my mind when I saw the story this morning of Jules Hoogland. Jules is a junior at Zeeland High School in Zeeland, Michigan. She is also completely blind.
Jules played in the last game of the season. In front of 2500 fans, she got one of those moments that all who play, crave. How unbelievable is that moment when the gym is silent except for the coach tapping on the rim so that Jules has a reference point to aim at. And when the ball goes in? Greatest basketball moment of the year IMO.