I must share the unique privilege I had/took this past Saturday.
During basketball games here in Williams Gymnasium I tend to walk around a bunch. There are a couple of favorite spots I have, leaning against one of the storage lockers under one of the baskets, in the hallway peaking out to see the score, in the bleachers with my wife, son and father-in-law, but this Saturday with about six minutes left in the game, I found a spot on the bench with the team. It was the last seat, usually reserved for the athletic trainer, but he was busy treating an injury.
At the time of my new seating position the men’s basketball team was down 47-54 to Coker College. Their lead went to 8 points (50-58) at the 4:33 mark and swelled to 10 (50-60) at the 3:47 mark. All the while the guys are on the bench helping coach, coach. They were cheering on their teammates, encouraging them to believe and challenging them to exert every ounce of energy they could.
We chipped away with good rebounding, creating turnovers, and executing our plays down the stretch.
And with 5.4 seconds left DJ Brown hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to tie the game up and the crowd in Williams Gymnasium reached a fever pitch. There was an inherent belief that we were destined to win. Never once was there doubt or panic on the coaching staff or players as they relied in their abilities to bring the game to a tie and extra time.
In the overtime, the guys played with such poise and confidence that they would not be denied as they won 72-68, giving a lot of the crowd a reason to celebrate.
Clearly my view of the game was fantastic, but I am most proud of the resilience, perseverance, desire and drive we exhibited when the game was on the line. The character of the young men and their leaders are continued proof of the specialness that is Lees-McRae athletics.
There is just something about competition!!
If you get a chance, please stop by and check us out. On Saturday, we had President Buxton, a new trustee, several members of the President’s Cabinet, faculty, staff, students, friends, family and the community there to cheer on the team.
Until next time . . . .