It all started on a backyard hoop on E. Green Street in 1994. Even as a five year old, you wouldn’t come in the house until you made a certain number of shots…though you could barely throw the ball up to the rim.
I had the joy of watching you and playing with you right up until the point in High school when I could no longer compete with you. I felt a Father’s pride on those days when you achieved milestones and great victories, and I cried a Father’s tears on those days when you suffered disappointments.
You made every team you ever played on better. Not just because you were a good player, because you were a good teammate. You set records at every level you played, yet not once did you play for records. Not once do I remember you being selfish and putting yourself before the team.
I watched you play through incredible physical pain. Many times in the past years, I saw off the court a young man who had a hard time walking, while the fans on the court saw a player playing as hard as he could with no trace of injury, because it was best for the team.
I watched you deal with disappointment with dignity, and success with a humility beyond your years.
You learned that life isn’t always fair, but if you do the right thing and work hard, things still work out pretty well.
I am so proud of you Son. I don’t think I could be any prouder. I know you have learned the value of hard work and discipline. You learned that the victories and accomplishment others see are won when no one else is around…when you are by yourself on the court practicing in any and all weather…just like in any pursuit in life.
I have had eighteen years of you allowing me to be a part of your passion. Unless you won the national championship, I knew that your final college game would be a loss. I knew regardless of how you played you’d be unhappy and shoulder the blame, even if its not possible for one man to shoulder a teams’ loss anymore than he can shoulder a teams’ win. I knew this because you are a winner Brett, and that’s what winners do.
In my eyes and in my heart, you are a true champion. I love you Son.