No April Fools!

Hallelujah! I woke up this morning to Google telling me that the women of Mississippi State had upset University of Connecticut’s long winning streak! It had to happen sooner than later. UConn had to lose sometime-why not now! It had to be an April Fool’s joke, but no! In overtime Mississippi State quelled my fears that my team the University of South Carolina, who also won last night, would have to face UConn in the NCAA Final Women’s Championship.

We beat Mississippi State in a tight game in the SEC tournament at the beginning of March. We were there, my husband and I; it was a nail-biter; but USC won over Mississippi State to win the SEC Championship Title.

We meet them again. It is a true CinderELLA and CinderFELLA story in that both the girls and the boys of the University of South Carolina, my home state, made it to the Final Four of March Madness. We watch the boys tonight; we will be with them every step, dribble, pass, shot, and point of their game.

What does this have to do with You, Dear Lord? Well, it is play, it is fun, it brings joy, tears, fears, upset, elation, regret, anger, surprise, frustration. Aren’t these emotions we all deal with on a regular basis? The drama of seeing individuals play intensely illustrates in technicolor how players deal with these emotions. Some respond well and are a credit to their teammates. Others do not and can complicate team play with fouls, tantrums, and unsportsmanlike conduct. I must admit, in the women’s games I have seen true ladies playing. Yes, they are athletes with drive, strength, and incredible talent; but they are good sports-women. Uh … the only technical fouls I have seen during this month were on two coaches!

Thank You, Dear Lord, for play. Thank You, Dear Lord, for these young women and young men who have spent years conditioning their bodies to respond well under pressure. They are to be applauded. Thank You for the opportunity this year to witness our home state players do exceedingly well nationally! Thank You for the good times my husband and I have shared together this Mad Month of March! It’s been memorable! Bless all involved on the bench, off the bench, on the floor, in the stands, by their televisions. Keep us focused on the joy and incredible magnificence of what the human body can do, because of You!

They say team sports are all about life. Here some quotes that say that and much more.

“Create unselfishness as the most important team attribute” – Bill Russell

“The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I’d made my teammates play” – Bill Russell

“We’re building a culture of accountability, trust, and togetherness. Entitlement will not be tolerated” – Brad Stevens

“What do you do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it” – Dean Smith

“Basketball is a beautiful game when the five players on the court play with one heartbeat” – Dean Smith

“Discover your gift, develop your gift, and then give it away every day” – Don Meyer

“Your decisions reveal your priorities” – Jeff Van Gundy

“A person really doesn’t become whole, until he becomes a part of something that’s bigger than himself” – Jim Valvano

“The more concerned we become over the things we can’t control, the less we will do with the things we can control” – John Wooden

“Let me give so much time to the improvement of myself that I shall have no time to criticize others” – John Wooden

“I have learned that peace is not the absence of trial, trouble, or torment but the presence of calm in the midst of them” – Coach Don Meyer

 

Might I include the alma mater for the University of South Carolina. So many school songs are thoughtful and spiritural.

 

We Hail Thee Carolina

English professor, George A. Wauchope, wrote theses lyrics for the alma mater in 1911. The tune is, Flow Gently, Sweet Afton by Jonathan Spilman.

We hail thee, Carolina, and sing thy high praise
With loyal devotion, remembering the days
When proudly we sought thee, thy children to be:
Here’s a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

 

Since pilgrims of learning, we entered thy walls
And found dearest comrades in thy classic halls
We’ve honored and loved thee as sons faithfully;
Here’s a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

 

Generations of sons have rejoiced to proclaim
Thy watchword of service, thy beauty and fame;
For ages to come shall their rallying cry be:
Here’s a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

 

Fair shrine of high honor and truth, thou shalt still
Blaze forth as a beacon, thy mission fulfill,
And crowned by all hearts in a new jubilee:
Here’s a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

 

 

 

 

 

Later

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