When I was in high school, I went to as many sporting events as I could. Football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, you name it, I tried to go to at least one of them. I got to sing the national anthem before some games, and had a blast with all of them. We went to such a small school that we basically knew everyone who was on the team, regardless of which team it was. When anything bad happened to the team or the players, we all knew quickly and reacted strongly.
The best example of this was my senior year, when the Boys Basketball team was competing for the state championship. They were among the best teams in the state, were balanced, tough, and were competitive in every game they played. As they were preparing for the State Playoffs, one of the best players, a senior guard named Zach got himself in some extra-curricular trouble, which resulted in him being suspended from school and removed from the team. We were stunned. We knew the team took a hit and was less likely to win. Turns out we were right. The team made it all the way to the championship game, and lost by two points. I think we would have had a different result if Zach were there, but he wasn’t.
When he got suspended, he lost a few chances at division 1 scholarships. I went to middle school and high school with him, and I felt terrible for him. He was a great guy, and lost a chance to live a dream of playing college basketball. He left high school with doubts about his chances to play in college.
Admittedly, when we left high school, I lost track of where he was. I only rediscovered where he ended up. He went to a Military school for a year, then ended up at Canisius College, a small Jesuit College in Buffalo, NY. They play division 1 basketball in the MAAC, and Zach is a starter for them! He’s averaged 15.5 points on the first two games of the young season, and seems to be having succes there. I watched some highlights of him playing last year, and he looked the same as I had watched him for years: quick, fearless, strong, good shooting. Congratulations to my classmate and good luck to him as he continues to develop this season!
Oh, Zach wears Number 1 for Canisius. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVQlhT3TjGE