It’s game time at Merriam Avenue’s school gym! S.C.A.R.C. participants and Pass It Along volunteers have just finished their stretches and pre-game warmup, which consisted of foul shots, lay-ups, and some running laps. The referee dons his striped shirt and whistle, and the players are divided into two teams. The whistle blows and the teams are off!
David takes the ball first, moves down the court, and scores. It’s a swish! “Shorty,” (an affectionate nickname on the court for this player on the opposing team) dribbles down to his team’s basket, shoots, and… nothing but net!
The game continues in much the same way with the two teams going shot-for-shot. Then, near the end of the game, the energy on the court intensifies–what the players and volunteers know as “showtime.” The hustle is serious. Players make what would be considered three-point shots and passing plays are implemented by the team coach & S.C.A.R.C. activities director, Dave. The game ends in a tie, and all are pleased, if not downright ecstatic, with their performance, and volunteers and players alike are energized by the activity.
What a Pass It Along event! (I promise as my adrenaline lowers, so will my exclamation usage). It’s been years since I have played or even held a basketball, but more importantly it’s been equally as long since I have remembered that disabilities or adversity are not always the means of our limitations. At today’s game, I saw a blind woman shoot the basketball and make a shot– more than once– over the course of our one-hour session. It was a powerful moment, a “what’s-stopping-you-from-ever-doing-anything-you-want-to-do” moment. And, it makes me want to be at Merriam Avenue’s gym next week. Go team! (Ok, so I haven’t fully calmed down yet…)