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Thank You Thursday (Saturday Edition)

Posted on January 22, 2015 by Joanna Gaston

So, I was playing basketball at the community center close to where I live and had the gym to myself. I didn't have any distractions: no music in my ears, no one to fetch loose basketballs for (which, to me, is always an understood courtesy when sharing the court). That said, I started thinking about my days playing basketball at my old school. Even though Dad taught me how to play, my coaches helped improve my shot and sharpen my skills.

Even though my stream of consciousness was all over the place, I managed to vividly recall two of my favorite coaches and their extremely different coaching styles: "Big A" and Ms. Dear. Big A was everyone's father figure on the team and Ms. Dear?...well, we were terrified of Ms. Dear (I say this lovingly). Putting it in perspective, Ms. Dear's coaching style and demeanor were a lot like UT's Pat Summit. Big A and Ms. Dear complimented each other really well. A gentle spirit and personality combined with five feet and some odd inches of fervent competitiveness made for quite the dynamic duo. They were so passionate about the game and even more passionate about building a great team on a foundation of fundamentals. With every 'every line sprint', basketball drill, and early morning practice I never questioned the work expected from me and my teammates--probably because I knew we had two of the best leaders and trusted them to help the team reach its potential. It was easy in those moments when you felt you couldn't run another sprint or jump another rope to want to throw in the towel, but luckily for us, they never let us.

I believe what they taught me when I was a kid goes so far beyond offense and defense. It's the discipline that was engrained in all of us to do everything we could to succeed.  That discipline, drive and determination on and off the court has never left me and I know several of my former teammates who'd say the same about themselves. For that, I'm thankful.

"When life shows you how love should go, write the world a thank you note."

- The Kind Cake  

I believe in serendipity and I believe in things ordained by something that's infinitely bigger than me. Thank God for that.

with kindness,

Joanna. 


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