Thursday, February 1, 2018

Basketball Family

As many of you know, this was the first season in our entire marriage (and his entire teaching career) that Jack has not coached basketball at the high school or middle school level.

So, what's a die-hard basketball coach to do? He coaches his kids - and they (and me!) adore him for it! Jack has coached our kidlets for the past five years, ever since Mackie was a 4-year-old in Lil Dribblers for the first time.

He continued the youth coaching stint with a bit more ease this year - and even survived his competitive mess of a wife by his side as she helped him coach Mackie's 2nd grade girls team. (Side note: In the 10 weeks of practice and 7 weeks of games, Coach Conkling only told me once to simmer down - SUCCESS!)

Brax wrapped up his season this past weekend with the famous Lil Dribblers game on the big court of the Sports Arena. Hutch Rec does a great job with this final game, as each player runs out onto the court and is introduced, just like they would in a high school or college game. Jack also finished his five-year Lil Dribbler coaching stint. I say he should add that to any future coaching resume!

Brax improved so much from last year and grasped what the game was all about. He confidently shot baskets, (literally) stayed on his man the entire time on defense, and enthusiastically cheered and yelled (loudly) for his teammates when they scored.

Mackie, meanwhile, will end the season with a small end-of-season tournament next weekend. Her love of basketball progressed from last season, and she dedicated herself even more this year to wanting to play hard, be aggressive, and also work on her shooting, using her height as an advantage. More often than not she'd beg us to go outside (in all elements!) to shoot and Jack even had to shine his truck lights on the basketball goal at night when it became too dark to see.

Can I just say how much JOY and delight these 2nd grade Lady Crusaders have brought our family this winter? Our family was a bit lost with Jack not coaching at the high school this season, and let me tell you - these nine little girls brought a lot of fun and laughter (and yes, tests of patience!) to the game of basketball.

It was such a treat watching these little ladies improve week in and week out on their skills, especially on the defensive side. We're excited to see how we do in the tournament next week and finish the year strong - and already are looking forward to more sports and next basketball season with the group!

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