Sunday, March 04, 2007

Lots of smiles ...

We made the trip yesterday to watch 2 of our grandkids play basketball. What a blast! Even the drive (see yesterday's post) was fun with a chance to spend a big chunk of uninterrupted time with wife. The whole Upwards basketball experience is always uplifting. Watching so many kids have fun and put some much energy into playing kind of fires you up. (I must admit I walked with more energy into McDonald's after the games.) Watching the kids run throught the star as their names were announced is a blast. Watching kindergarteners play defense is kind of like watching a dance contest. Of course they have to be reminded often whether they are on offense or defense. The rules concerning traveling for the kindergarteners is lot like the NBA, you can take an extra step or two or twelve without dribbling it is okay. After all they too cute to call traveling on them (the kindergartners, not the NBAers). Their real joy is in being on the floor running around and having fun. I loved watching our grandson Zee (not his real name, the first letter of his name) and he obviously believes the Upwards motto, "every child is a winner". Zee is a big winner in my book.

Our oldest grandson Bee plays in the 3rd-4th grade league. This is more intense and has a real referee who does a nice job in the calling the game without dominating the action. The kids show some real skills and are beginning to see the bigger picture of the game, such as setting picks, spreading out on the floor and passing the ball to the open player. They are playing on a 10 foot basket, a little high in my opinion for that age because it causes some kids to throw the ball instead of shooting it. (The kindergartners play on a 6 foot goal.) Bee is a good athlete and is skilled defensively, maybe for the years of playing soccer, but is a little shy offensively at times. I love watching him play.

After the kids finish their games they get a coupon for a dollar's worth of stuff from the snack bar. I think many of them are more excited about this than the game. Isn't that great? Hey, it is supposed to be fun at all levels, but especially at this level. I loved watching the coaches as they encouraged, instructed and laughed during the games.

We bought some McDonald's for the kids, all four of the grandkids and their mom and dad. We talked for a while, got some hugs and kisses and headed home.

The days totals: 10 hours away, 5-6 hours on the road, 1 tank of gas, a McDonald's tab, a time on a metal folding chair, time with and watching the grandkids, priceless. What a great day. Here's hoping you have a great day today at the church of your choice. (Or your regular one.)


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