In the summer of 2003, Matt Hixenbaugh and I took our Trinity Prep Saints team to the Lake Howell team camp. We were coming off of a 19-9 season, but our best player was in the process of transferring to a bigger school and with a few absences, excused or not, we only had four players available for our first game. We made a few calls, but couldn’t find anyone available to play until one of our players, Thad Seymour, ran into a friend named Brandon Pittman. Brandon was a student at Seminole, but wasn’t a part of their basketball program. He played five games with our guys that weekend and transferred to Trinity.
Brandon was a spare part at Seminole, but for us offered unselfish athleticism and comic relief. We would go 24-5 losing a difficult game to the eventual state champion in regional play, and Brandon was our sixth man and an integral part of everything we achieved as a team. It was a great move for him individually and for us as a team.
Tonight, I watched a former player Ray Shaw play against Winter Springs. Ray was on my JV team last season and struggled to find regular minutes. In all likelihood, he would not be playing basketball if he had stayed at Winter Springs. He is varsity starter for ICS, and played well tonight. He has demonstrably grown as a player, is important to their team and having fun.
Their are a select few playera that have a level of talent that makes a difference in gamea wherever they play and whoever they play against. These players have invested themselves deeply in the game and are a joy for anyone who loves the game to watch. Most players are different. They love the game just the same, work at it, but require something more to achieve success…..to be in the right place which is really a team where they are valued and in that environment inspired to be the best player they can be.