I came to a realization of sorts this weekend. Last Thursday, I went with my son and his family to watch the University of North Carolina basketball team practice for their upcoming tournament games in the Charlotte arena. I was amazed at the genuine fun and joy that team’s players and coaches and former players shared with us that day. I think I knew, at that point, that this team’s value goes far beyond wins and losses.
Tonight’s loss verified that.
Carolina lost tonight’s tournament game by over twenty points at a time when they were only five wins away from winning another National Championship. In the later stages of that loss, I watched and saw the team’s two seniors. I also saw those kids’ head coach.
One of the seniors, Theo Pinson, seemed to become a bit emotional while still on the court with minutes to play.
The other senior, Joel Berry, seemed to rely on his strength to hold it all inside. But you could tell what he was thinking.
Then I saw Coach Roy! On the bench. I swear, I think the man was close to tears.
And I am convinced the apparent and hidden emotions had nothing at all to do with the loss. It had everything to do with saying goodbye to Theo and Joel. I think that crushed Coach Roy. I am sure Theo doesn’t like goodbyes. And, Joel? He’s a strong man. But I am sure he felt the same as coach and Theo.
After watching these guys practice and clown around and smile and laugh with each other. After watching the emotions of the seniors and their coach during the final game of the seniors, well – I have to say this. Heart and love overcome all!
Tonight, we won the National Championship.
And – Woody!
He knows this, too!