I grew up in small town Idaho where the town came out to support the high school sports regardless if they had a child on the team. In fact, I remember as a kid traveling across the state for the state basketball tournament and no one in my family even played basketball at the time!
So I was a little surprised when I attended one of my first basketball games at Hallie’s high school and there weren’t many people in attendance. They’ve historically had a good team and there still wasn’t much community/student support. For the past 38 years the school has had the same coach – Steve even played for him over 20 years ago. He was amazing and brought home a lot of state titles but last year was his last year at the school so we got a new coach this year. He was filling some big shoes and more than anything I wanted him to be successful.
Hallie had a friend playing on the JV team, so we started attending games to watch him and then we’d stay for the varsity game. I only intended to watch a few…but before long I was totally invested! I knew the players and I felt I needed to support as many games as I could.
Hallie was also invested and showed her support by participating in the game “dress up” days. Every game, the senior boys would choose what the theme was and students would show up: Hawaiian, Denim, Mom/dad night, Jersey, Red Out, Blue Out, American, Christmas…I think the only one she refused to dress up for was bathrobe night!
From the way the season started, I would have never thought we would have made it as far as we did in the playoffs. I attended so many fun games – games that were too close to call until the last second – games where one school stormed the court a little too soon and we stormed it seconds later – buzzer beater shots – overtimes – games where records were created – and also some games that were heartbreaking.
We ended up in the final four where the team played to a sold out crowd, a game we were surprised to be playing in. The odds were stacked against us (against a rival school we aren’t allowed to play in regular season play because its a little too unruly) and yet it was a close game the entire game and it wasn’t until the last 3 seconds when we shot a three pointer and it bounced around before falling out did we accept defeat and missed our chance at playing in a championship game for the state title.
It was such a fun season. And I don’t even have a dog in the fight. Isn’t that the best part about community?! I’m already looking forward to next season.