For mrfncharm and I, today is a somber day. Today is the 5th year anniversary of the death of our teammate and friend Robert Locke. Robert or “Burt” was a year older than us when we were in high school, but we had the honor of playing basketball with him before he graduated. Robert and Jared Locke were identical twins that stood a solid 6’6 each. Though none would claim them as superb athletes, they were by far the hardest workers on the team. They were inseparable from each other and they were inseparable from the court. In fact Robert was playing basketball up till going to bed on January 27th. Tragically, he did not wake on the morning of January 28th, 2007. He passed in his sleep from a rare heart condition that sadly took him way to soon at the age of 19.
I say all of this not in remorse but for more of a reflection on life. I recently spoke to our team about the importance of “now”. I told them that none of them are guaranteed to play basketball at the next level and that for some of them this could be the last time they play basketball in high school. Sounds harsh but it’s the truth. The only guarantee my players have is the next 3 games. I told them to make the most of those games and the remaining weeks as a team for it will be the last time all 12 of them would play together. I stressed to them how special the bond of a teammate is and explained how Mrfncharm and I met over 8 years ago and how we were reunited this year by the game of basketball.
It’s hard to tell if our young freshman players grasped the scope of my statements but my overall point to them and our readers is that you don’t know how long you have on this earth, so make the most of your time NOW. This isn’t a podium sermon from Littlewolverine but a personal letter to the memory of Robert Locke. To this day I still wear our high school team wristbands as a constant remind of the hard working teammate and good friend that we lost but have never forgotten. Life is short and sometimes shorter for most so practice now not tomorrow, work hard on school now not tomorrow, be happy with what you have now not what you want tomorrow. Make the most of your time as a friend, a student, a teammate and if you’re blessed to look back in 5 years, be proud of what you have done.
If you’d like to donate to the “Robert Locke Scholarship Fund” contact Oviedo High School
601 King Street
Oviedo, FL 32765