by Liz Scott, Alex’s Mom
I am always inspired when I watch basketball and, for me, March Madness is the best basketball time of the year! I like watching basketball, especially youth basketball because kids play their hearts out.
As a parent, I have grown to recognize the work and effort that these young men and women have had to put into this sport to play at the Division 1 level. I appreciate all that their parents and families have done to give them this opportunity. It can be grueling at times to watch your child make mistakes, have a bad game or just sit on the bench hoping for a chance to get in the game. I also know how great it can feel to see them succeed, make that big winning shot and contribute to the team as a player.
I also know what a gift it is to be healthy. When I watch my own son play basketball, I will admit that at times I find myself shouting a little too loudly, or groaning out loud when he makes a turnover. However, when I stop and pause to take it in, I am reminded of the fact that his participation is a gift—his ability to run, shoot and dribble is not something to take for granted.
My daughter Alex had a lot of physical deficits due to her cancer—she could barely walk, (never mind run), her fine motor skills were challenged and she was often so tired from the treatment that physical exertion would quickly tire her out. If she had ever been able to get down a basketball court while dribbling a basketball, I literally would have cried tears over her accomplishment. That perspective is something that has stayed with me.
When I need it most, especially during those moments when I find myself getting a little too caught up in a basketball game, this perspective seems to bubble up. It is a reminder that I need to cherish the moment and never take good health for granted. Then, I am able to enjoy every moment of watching my son just be on the team—and know that win or lose—participating is a gift that too many other children don’t get to enjoy. With that perspective, I am able to watch the sport I love with such an appreciation for everything that is happening because I know that basketball is so much more than the final score. It is about young men and women who are blessed to run up and down a basketball court and play their hearts out—all made possible by their fortune to have good health and their willingness to make the most of it.
I wish you basketball lovers a thrilling March Madness and for those of you who don’t watch, give it a try, you might be surprised at how fulfilling it can be.
Liz Scott is the Co-Executive Director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, but she is most proud of her title of "Mom" to her three sons, Patrick, Eddie, and Joey, and her daughter Alex. She is also proud of her days as #23 for the Windsor Warriors.