I wanted to take a few minutes to thank all of you who supported me through donations and prayers during the first ever “Hoops for Hope” basketball fundraiser. It was a day that I will remember for the rest of my life! As you know, 24 men set out to raise $24,000 and play full court basketball for 24 hours. All 24 made it to the end but Danny (crossed legs on the floor) sprained his ankle in the 18th hour and could not continue playing. This picture was after the 24th game and the smiles were because we made it. I am on the right edge of the banner and my #1 son is in the middle. Together Chris and I raised $3,400.
The day began early since we had to at the gym by 8:00am and it was nearly an hour from my house. We arrived and quickly assembled into our two teams, Green
and White. This event was the idea of Phil Arsenault (#14 on right), longtime youth & family minister for the Boston Church of Christ. Phil played basketball in college and never really grew up; he is the most radical and zealous middle aged man I know. The spirit of the morning was electric as we all wondered what the day would bring. We had the feeling that we were a part of something special.Game #1 – (8-9am)
Everyone was excited to have their first shot at the opposition. We tried to act like we were all composed but there was no shortage of competitive spirit. As the game came to a close both teams put in their best players to try to register a win. With 6 seconds left I stepped up and hit a 3 point shot to go ahead by 1 point – I was feeling good! Then Sam Shaw drove the length of the court and hit a shot as the buzzer sounded. The Green team was up one game and by one point in the total score.Game #9 – (4-5pm)
Having played 8 hours of basketball, I felt very good indeed. The games were competitive and fun. The score at this point was Green team 366
/ White team 365
. Although I felt good, game 9 was the first time that I began to think we have been playing all day and I am barely 1/3 of the way finished. Game #12 – (7-8pm)
This was the game where we cheered completing the half way point. I celebrated by taking a shower after the game! Everyone told me that I would come out feeling like a new man. Sad to say I felt cleaner but still tired. Cleaner is good! Game #14 - (9-10pm)
A blood blister had formed on my left foot under my toenail due to my sock getting wrinkled. I changed shoes and yet my feet seemed to get increasingly sore. A sense of dread did set in since I realized I had just barely made it half way. The Teens began to arrive for a “lock in” so we did get some extra encouragement from the 250 energized teens that were eager to cheer us on. The score at the end of this game was Green 610
/ White 614Game #19 – (2-3am)
This was my darkest hour…. I was exhausted and realized that I had 5 more hours to go. My right foot got a blister on my little toe that began to bleed and my left foot developed a major blister on the ball of my foot. This made running painful and the exhaustion was depressing. I adopted the practice of taking off my shoes and socks between every game and laying flat on my back on the floor for the 15 minutes between each game. I did not sleep but it was blissful to lie still and try to gain some strength. This time was complicated by the joyful and energetic teens that were eager to talk, but I was at an all time low in my zeal for fellowship!!!Game #23 – (6-7am)
Hope had returned to Hoops for Hope! We all knew that we could make it now. The spirit was more upbeat although many of the older players resembled a group of retirees doing their exercise by walking around the mall! It was more like “power walking” than running. Still the games were very competitive and at the end of game 23 the Green Team had won 11 games
and the White Team had won 11
with 1 tie
! Game #24 – (7-8am)
This was a weird combination of joy and desperation. We were so glad to have made it but more physically devastated than ever before. The last game found most of us surprisingly energized ready to fight it out one more time. The final score was Green 1,084
/ White 1,151
. That is 2,235 points in 24 games for an average of over 93 points per 32 minute game!
Joyce picked us up and I had a shower and collapsed in the bed until 3 in the afternoon. I did not move a muscle for 6 hours. When I hobbled down the stairs that afternoon my face was deformed because I had slept on my hand the whole time. Joyce greeted me with a concerned look and asked “What happened to your face?” I guess the same thing that had happened to the rest of me… I was wrecked!!!
It was encouraging to know that all that effort helped raise money that could change lives in Cambodia. Thanks for your help in partnering with me on this adventure. So far we have raised just over $22,500 and more is coming in
. I am sure we will make the goal. A special thanks to the Moritz family who made a huge contribution on the day of the event to help some of the young guys get over the top! We checked the website in the afternoon and everyone cheered the news. Now all that is left is a great memory and some healing blisters as a reminder of “leaving it all on the floor for the poor.”