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February 28, 2016

The Grateful Sisters

The Grateful Sisters

Hi Parents,

As the season winds down, I want to tell you a story of two girls who have been part of our program dating back to when we didn’t have enough players, teams and gym space. It’s the story of two sisters, Kate, and her younger sister, Caroline. Kate started with us in grade 5 and it wasn’t exactly a smooth ride. There were days of doubt, fear and resistance about playing hoops. She cried before games and Coach Kristin had to coax her into practices more than once. We kept telling her parents to believe in us, to believe in Kate, and they let us do our work.

This isn’t always easy work nor is it guilt-free. I yelled at Kate several times during games and practices every year as she went through our program, always demanding her to stop crying and keep working because I knew she could get the job done. I constantly begged her skinny little sister, Caroline, to get more physical knowing that this demand defied the laws of common sense given her frame.

So what’s remarkable about these two girls?

It’s not that Kate was moved up to varsity as an eighth grader and that Caroline was asked to play varsity at the same grade. None of this surprised me. It’s that after every practice and game regardless of performance or outcome, these two girls (and others) came up to me or Coach Kristin and said, “Thank you.” We lost some games by an embarrassing 40+ points. I rode Kate for most of the games, even if we were losing to a better team. Even if they were boiling over in frustration or disappointment, Kate and Caroline never left the gym without saying thank you.

Kate’s mom last week emailed me and said as a junior, Kate ended her high school season playing the best game of her career.

As the manager and director of an 80-team league who is in charge of 800-1,000 kids and 2,500 people per weekend (staff, refs, parents, custodians), I am going to ask you to consider saying thank you to the athletic director, the league manager, the coach, the team parent who has helped create an opportunity for your child to grow and learn about themselves. We are not perfect, but most of us are giving best effort. We also rely heavily on admin, co-coaches, custodians and parents like you.

Another way to say thank you is to make a donation to your program as we have requested in our annual fund drive to support our scholarship players, league overhead and sponsored teams for the GBA. The GBA is our homemade league that keeps the game simple and convenient for Manhattan families. An anonymous donor has donated a chance to win 3 tickets behind the Cavs bench at the Nets-Cavs game on March 24. Click here for more info.

GBA Madness schedules will be announced by Tuesday at noon latest for 80 teams. (Note: We cannot do the final schedules until Monday due to the results we need this weekend.)

What about spring hoops? We’ll send an email next week explaining the best approach for spring if you want to play only hoops or juggle a few sports whether it’s with us or for another program.

We’ll also be announcing more podcasts, spotlights and blogs that help give you clarity and help you simplify your job as a parent who is trying to put in best effort.

But as of this week, as winter hoops wraps, we ask that parents, fans and players don’t judge the season by the final score. Judge it by the collective effort of those who made it happen. We’ll be sure as coaches to remind the kids that they, too, owe you as parents a big thank you for making it all possible.


Maureen Holohan