Class… now isn’t that a topic? Class kind of goes along with grace. We can choose to walk through life gracefully or like the proverbial bull in the china shop. The choice is up to us.
That’s really what it is isn’t it? A matter of choice?
That leads me to a story I read bout 2 high school rival basketball teams. You see, on a Saturday night (this month) the DeKalb, Illinois High School basketball team had ridden a bus two and a half hours to get to Milwaukee to play a non-conference game on the road against Milwaukee Madison. It was the third meeting between the two schools, who were developing a friendly rivalry that spanned two states.
Earlier that day, the mother of Milwaukee Madison’s team captain died from complications of cervical cancer. The coach wanted to cancel the game but Johntel Franklin, who had just lost his mother, wanted his team to play.
The game started an hour late and during the 2nd quarter Johntel Franklin showed up at the game to hugs and sympathy from his teammates and fans. Now even though he was late and broken-hearted, Johntel didn’t want to just watch the game, he wanted to play. But here’s the problem: since he was not on the pregame roster, DeKalb High was awarded 2 free throws on a technical foul. Their coach didn’t want the free throws but after a heated 7 minute conversation, the ref’s ruled that they needed to take the free throws.
So the coach asked for a volunteer to shoot the 2 technical free throws. DeKalb High senior and team captain, Darius McNeal, was the first to raise his hand. He went to the line, eyed the rim, and shot the ball. It went about 2 feet and bounced its way under the basket. It took a second, but soon the Milwaukee Madison squad realized what was happening… They stood and applauded their rivals. Soon the whole arena stood and applauded the out-of -town rivals. The second shot barely left Darius’ hand.
DeKalb went on to lose the game but it seems to me that they won something far bigger. A glimpse at what it’s like to do something for a greater good. To do something so unselfish, so graceful, so classy. None of the players’ lives will ever be the same.
And since we’re talking about inspiring stories taking place on the court, how about this: