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A Game I'll Never
By Steve Higginbotham
March 16, 2005
I was privileged to witness an
extraordinary event two nights ago. My 8-year-old son plays
basketball on a YMCA team. He's not very good, but he has so much
fun playing. While some of the children playing are very
competitive, that's just not how I would describe my son. As a
matter of fact, the main reason he is playing is because each team
member receives a trophy at the end of the season, and he likes
the idea of having received more trophies than his dad did when he
was a boy.
As his final game of the season was
coming to an end, Matthew hadn't scored a single basket the entire
season. In fact, he was the only child on the team that hadn't
scored a point all season long. That's when something
extraordinary took place. The children on Matthew's team began
throwing him the ball and telling him to shoot. None of his
teammates would take a shot, but would work to get Matthew the
ball. Matthew took about four or five shots, but they all rolled
off the rim. Time was running out. There was less then five
seconds left to play on the clock.
That's when the referee positioned
himself directly in front of the clock so no one could see the
time, and he stopped the clock from ticking. The kids played on.
For the next four or five minutes, they went up and down the
court, each time Matthew took a shot, but it wouldn't fall for
him. Finally, Matthew took a shot and it went it. The buzzer
immediately sounded, the game ended, and the gym erupted with
applause! He was so proud of himself.
Though Matthew's team lost the
game, the applause and cheering indicated that there was a greater
interest in the minds those present than simply the outcome of the
game. The players, referees, and parents weren't interested in
the final score, but in the success of a little boy who is a
below-average basketball player.
Matthew received his trophy that
night, and yes, he reminded me that he has more trophies than I
had when I was his age. He also scored two points on a "buzzer
beater." Those will be his memories. But what I will always
remember about that game is the way that everyone rallied around a
little boy with few basketball skills and cheered more for his
success, than for all the other baskets made during the entire
season by much better players.
"There will be more joy
in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just
persons who need no repentance" (Luke 15:7).
Copyright © 2005, South Green Street Church of Christ,
Permission is granted to copy these articles.