Thursday, June 12, 2014

A True Brother

           
These two might know what I mean.
          On my brother’s birthday, I wanted to cover what kind of brother he was towards my pursuit of excellence toward my athletic expression, which is basketball. My brother is two years older than me. My father was an exemplary shooter, and he admitted to me that one thing that he was the weakest at was ball handling. He passed on the basics of shooting to my brother and me. Also, at a very young age Bobby was sent to a basketball camp, and learned a series of dribbling drills. My father had my brother demonstrate them to me. In essence my brother became one of my best instructors as well as providing me with someone to compete with in the backyard. 
          When I was a freshman, my brother, father, and I entered a district wide father/son three on three tournament in which we won and became the only team to do so in that category of that tournament because there were some heated feuds that caused the bracket to be cancelled in the future.
My best friend, and brother.
          As it were, when Bobby was a senior, he and I made the varsity basketball team. I was a sophomore, and was given a starting position at 2 guard within the first month of the season. My brother rarely saw playing time. In fact, the sin against the unwritten rules of school basketball was not to either start, or worse; play a senior in the last home game of his/her career. It was a meaningless game, but my brother never got in the game. He never took off his warm up clothes. My brother in neither my direction nor anyone else spoke not one complaint. As I reflected on that game, I felt a bit ashamed that I didn't realize my brother had not seen the court. To this day I wish I had walked off the court and pulled him to the scorer’s table. He was always supportive of my success, play, and practice. He chauffeured many days to the basketball gyms and courts, as well as school. The only emotion he showed in my direction was love. In that senior/last game I shot an airball for the tying three point shot in desperation. I got several jeers from classmates but my brother, just gave me a hug. In fact, two years later when my senior year came around, he was front and center at one of the biggest wins of the programs history in our high school. He traveled 2 hours from Western Michigan University to watch our regional championship, and when we won he was there with the same hug that was there during defeat.
          However, my brother excelled at tennis as well as soccer. He received a scholarship for tennis. He also runs a successful tennis program in the Portland School District. From what I understand it is not just one grade level but several. Those kids are lucky to have him, as I was. He still lives in our hometown, which is a 14-hour drive from my current spot. If I had someone I wanted to talk to or get help from, there couldn't be a better person than him growing up.
          Continuing, Bobby transcended what seemed to be any big moment in my life or his. He kept me very grounded which made huge moments, in popular opinion, seem a little ho hum, and not in a bad way. That is why he always seemed bigger than life to me, but probably understated to others. It isn't a landmark birthday, he has been 39 for 5 years, but if it were the biggest birthday of his life by most peoples’ standards, Bobby would have a way of making it just as important as everyday of any life may be, with the consistency that each moment of his and others’ life requires.
          Growing up in Michigan our hero was Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson. Like Magic, Bobby wore number 32, and to me, if I was in the worst possible emotional state, Bobby was magic. He was magic in the sense that problems started to melt away when he was in the room No offense to Magic, but now that his basketball career came to an end and his highlight time on ESPN has waned, although still reviewed, when I see Magic I think more of my brother than ever. Bobby has taken that persona and the only thing I would like to give him on his birthday is the health to outlast any critical emotional support my family or I may need. Sounds selfish on my part, but my brother made sure I came before him and I am just used to being selfish 
, because he demanded that I be that way in his company. He wouldn’t expect presents from me for any occasion it was always enough for him to see that I was happy and safe. Am I writing this because I forgot to get my brother a card with someone else’s words on it? Yes.


Happy birthday Ba.