Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Basketball Pride

Last month, the Knights of Columbus hosted a free throw competition at the school. Each student, ages 10 and up, had the opportunity to participate. The competition consisted of 15 throws. The student in the gender/age group with the most baskets out of the 15 would be the winner.

Grace won for the 12 year old girls’ age group!

A few weeks later, information came home about the District Free Throw Competition. Because Grace took first place in the qualifying round, she would represent the council at Districts.

On a Sunday afternoon between basketball games, I took her to the gym for the District Competition.

No one was there.

The competition was supposed to run from 1 to 3pm in a show up and shoot fashion. We arrived at 2:15 pm. Luckily, I have a few connections. After a few phone calls, the district chairperson was back at the gym to record Grace’s free throws.

And a wasted trip it was not.

With her last shot swishing through the net, she took first place in the District Competition!

This past Sunday was the Regional Competition. In her age group, there were a total of 6 qualifiers. As I bit off all my nails in the Duchesne High School gym waiting on her turn, I was struck by how ridiculously awesome that girl is. Not just her basketball skills, but what an amazing young woman she is.

The competition was stiff with the first 3 girls making 19, 17 and 13 out of 25 shots, respectively. Grace was nervous. I was nervous. The friends that came to show their support were nervous. She pulled herself together, focused her attention, found her groove and made 9. Although it wasn’t enough to move her on to the State Competition, it was her own personal best. And really that’s all you can ask for.

I’m so proud of her. My heart swells just thinking about her. She has come so far from and matured so much. The last few years have been hard on all of us. But the greatest reward to any struggle is finding happiness.

And that we have.