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Through a big sister’s eyes: State berth brings pride

Column by Carly Grenfell

Carly GrenfellLet’s just say it has been a pretty sentimental few days. Does it have to do with basketball? Naturally. But it’s not because of something I directly experienced this time.

I spent my Friday night on the couch, homework in my lap, and headphones in listening to the live broadcast of my younger sister’s basketball game.

This was the game that determined their State berth. Long story short, they won.

It’s been over 10 years, 14 to be exact, since my high school has made it to the State tournament.

It honestly took me a while to figure out what I wanted to say to her after the game. But I settled on, “Enjoy it. What you did is really special.”

She may not realize it yet, but to be surrounded by a team — who competes for each other and for the name on the front of their jersey — is hard to come by at that age.

Generally speaking, many high school girls are more worried about what their hair looks like or get caught up in useless drama.

I was in high school once. I’m no expert, but girls can be crazy.

I’m convinced that her team is different. They are a team that truly likes to compete. And not over each other’s “man candy Monday” Instagram posts.

They got to experience something my team never did in high schools.

We never won a district title. We never got to play on the big stage, perhaps a tough reality to face.

But even with that in mind, if I wanted any one team to experience success of this nature, it would be hers.

How could I not beam with pride and excitement at the thought of her cutting down the nets, celebrating with her teammates and being part of something very few high school athletes get to be a part of?

I’m not exaggerating when I say I was over the moon that night.

So this is where the sentiment comes in. Even though it’s high school, I’m vicariously living through my younger sister.

I have never gotten to experience cutting down the nets or flashing a No. 1 at the cameras, even in college. But I literally dream of it and look forward to the day it happens.

I don’t care what level you play at. If you love what you do and do it for the right reasons, winning evokes so many emotions that any competitor should crave.

If I had any last words for her team, it would be to enjoy every last bit of this season.

You have nothing to lose at State. And regardless of the score when the buzzer sounds, you are still part of program history.

Don’t dwell on the “would have, could have and should have.”

Soak in what you are experiencing today and what you will experience tomorrow. Winning is something we so often mistake as just an outcome of a simple game, but it is actually much more than that.

Winning is a gift that people fight for. Let that one sink in. But better yet, go get ‘em at state. I’ll be cheering.

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