As I stood on the court at the West Seattle YMCA, coaching my six-year-old son in his first basketball practice, memories flooded back of my own childhood and the man who had introduced me to the game: my father.
Growing up in Alexandria, Virginia, my dad had been the one to sign me up for my first youth league basketball team. I was just 10 years old at the time, and I was nervous and excited to be joining a team for the first time. But as soon as I stepped onto the court, my dad was there by my side, offering encouragement and guidance as I learned the ropes.
As I watched my son run through drills and practice shooting and passing, I found myself thinking back to those early days of my own basketball journey.
I remembered the way my dad had patiently explained each drill and technique, never once getting frustrated or raising his voice. And I remembered the pride in his eyes as I improved week after week, eventually becoming a confident and capable player.
Now, as I stood on the sidelines, trying to impart some of that same wisdom to my own son, I couldn't help but feel a sense of gratitude towards my father. Though he is no longer with us, the lessons he taught me on the basketball court have stayed with me all these years later.
As I watched my son's face light up with excitement every time he made a basket, or the look of determination as he hustled to get a loose ball, I knew that this was an experience he would always remember.
And as I high-fived him after practice and told him how proud I was of his progress, I was filled with a sense of joy and accomplishment, knowing that I was helping to carry on the legacy of my own father.
Coaching my son in basketball for the first time was a special and meaningful experience, one that I will always treasure. It filled my bucket in a way that few other things can, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to share this experience with my son. And as I continue to guide him on the court, I will always be thankful for the lessons and guidance that my own father provided for me, and for the memories that will always stay with me.