Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ridge Creek Eagles All-Star Player Selected for All-State Team!

All-State Eagle

Since the first day of practice, Michael T. has been with the Ridge Creek Eagles Basketball team. He has been the glue that held the team together through tough times. A 15 year old sophomore from North Carolina, Michael has a love for basketball that is addicting. During any activity period or practice time Michael can be found in the RCS gym developing his ability. He will be “shooting his threes,” practicing his free throws, and perfecting his passing and dribbling technique. The boy loves to have a basketball in his hands. In fact, if he can’t find his own ball, he will steal yours. He will pester anyone into a pick-up game, and he will always try and get the last word on the court. To Michael this is not only a game it is an escape. It is his dream, and his chance to do something great.

Michael started off the season slow, intimidated by other players, and in the shadows. He rarely talked much during the game and would pass the ball before even thinking of taking a shot, and when he did, he would usually miss. His determination began to grow. Inside of him there was an itch to be a leader. Something in him began to shift, something that would help spark the team to make a dream run at a championship. Michael found his passion and used it the best way he knew, to help his team succeed. In doing so he secured a position on the Georgia All-State Basketball Team.

His determination made him special and helped him to earn the position of Team Captain. Averaging more than 20 points a game, he led the team on a run that helped to give the RCS Eagles a shot at the state championship. He became a leader on and off of the court, pushing his teammates to succeed academically, as well as athletically, to ensure their eligibility to play.

Last night, Michael was recognized for his achievements by the commissioner of our conference. He was selected by coaches to the All State team. A position reserved for the best basketball players in the state. He was also approached by coaches of other teams telling him he has a chance to play in college if he works on certain aspects of his game. Michael accepted these accolades with uncharacteristic humility.

This special moment will not be forgotten. After the final buzzer last night, Michael said something to me I will never forget. This was told to me about an hour after receiving the award and we were getting ready to leave the campus. He told me that this was one of the happiest moments of his life. At first I thought he was talking about receiving the award, and I asked him and he explained his statement, telling me that it wasn’t the award or the recognition. It was the chance that the game gave him to escape the everyday problems in his life. It was about finding a game that had become part of his life and given him hope. It was about finding hope, a hope that fueled by a dream and a desire to be successful.