Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Championship To Remember and Cherish

Monday night, my team (Black - #1 seed) took on the Green team (#3 seed) in the championship game of our Summer Basketball League.  My team was undefeated though hadn't played well the past few weeks and barely beat Grey (#4 seed) 59-52 last week to make the championship game.  On the other hand, Green was a mix of young and old guys and they had upset the Gold team (#2 seed) to make the championship.

There was no consolation game prior so I did not expect too many fans and potentially a low key championship game.  However, the Green team's young guys brought a bevy of friends and family along.    In addition, several of Green's players who had missed a few weeks due to other things, decided to return.  Instead of focusing on just a couple of guys on the Green team, my team had to contend with two others (a older big guy and a younger guard).  I don't know how my teammates were feeling prior to the game.  I was pretty relaxed and actually liked having the crowd there.  That usually makes me focus and play better.

Safe to say the championship game was NOT low key and both teams played at a very high level.  Both teams had opportunities to win but at the end my team played off a thrilling 73-72 OVERTIME win over the Green team.   The win finished off an undefeated (10-0) season.  For me personally, I tallied a game high 24 points (12-17 FT's) to lead my team.   My teammate Paul added 19 while another teammate Duane scored 15.

I could write a dozen pages on all the happenings during the game but I won't do that.   I'll just say that our team had plenty of miscues late in the game, all of which could have lost the game for us.  Yet we hung together, stayed mentally tough and withstood Green's challenge to win.

I do give credit to Green though.  They were incredibly tough and both teams deserved to win.  It was a shame that someone had to lose.  There was some obvious disappointment from some of the young kids but they will have plenty of years ahead of them still.

For me, I absolutely loved our team.  It's a rare thing to get a team of guys that all get along but we did.   Even though we finished undefeated, we had our ups and downs but the chemistry helped us stick together.  

Including Monday's game, this was my 12th championship game that I have played in.  Monday's game ranks as the best and most memorable.   I will remember this game due to the drama, the overtime and all the miscues we had to overcome.  Plus, my 24 points was the most I've ever scored in a championship game.   All of my teammates agreed that Monday's game will be something they will remember for years to come.

Wrapping up, I am thankful for being given the Most Inspirational Player award for my team.  Winning the championship was a GREAT bonus.  Thanks to the league coordinators, my teammates and the other teams were a terrific summer.  I hope to see a lot of the folks again soon.

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