Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Heart Of A Champion

Tonight, our WCS basketball teams are playing The Village School where I first met the young lady in the story below when she was only a little girl. An update: Hannah is now starring on the hardwoods for the College of New Rochelle! This is from March 8, 2012.
Do me a favor and say a prayer for Hannah tonight- she's having knee surgery tomorrow. I'm not sure of the extent of her injury- she played through the basketball season in pain- but knees are to players what wheels are to cars. You aren't going anywhere if they aren't in good shape. We will miss Hannah second period tomorrow. It's test day as well as the last day of the nine week grading period and the last day before the best holiday ever invented for schools: SPRING BREAK! She'll take her test when she returns, hopefully well on the road to a complete recovery. Hannah had a great season which ended only last weekend. She was a vital cog in our WCS Lady Wildcat squad which captured its fourth consecutive Texas private school state championship. Our girls have become a powerhouse, being ranked in the top ten nationally several times in recent years and Hannah is helping continue the legacy. A skilled ball handler, a terrific shooter, and feisty- that's a pretty good combination for a perimeter player who isn't the biggest girl you'll see on the court. Only a sophomore, Hannah will be counted on to help the girls in blue bring back two more big trophies in 2013 and 2014. There's no doubt she'll be up to the task.

Despite the introductory paragraph, this isn't a story about basketball. Sometimes when we see media accounts of young athletes, we overlook that they don't live in vacuums- they have lives outside of the court or the field or the pool or the track. You see, most of my interaction with Hannah is in the classroom. We have a grade everyday in Hannah's class so everyday, she turns in a paper, and every paper she turns in is covered with hearts. On her quiz yesterday, I counted five hearts. Sometimes she adds a little basketball and sometimes she adds her jersey # (12) but there are always hearts. She puts them next to her name and next to her prayer requests and next to Gospels- she even draws hearts on the quizzes of her classmates when we switch to grade. ALWAYS. WITHOUT FAIL.  Hannah is amazingly consistent. She always asks me to pray for her parents and her teammates and other students and her knees and she always draws little hearts, always the same size and always identical in style. Always.

I don't know Hannah's folks well but I remember the day four years ago when I met them. My middle school team was playing another middle school team in downtown Houston. They had this tiny sixth grader whose parents introduced themselves and their daughter turned out to be the best player on the other team. The next morning, I received a wonderful e-mail from her dad with pictures from the game, a first for me and an only for me. We were blessed when Hannah enrolled at WCS as a freshman because we not only gained a terrific young lady, we picked up a set of very supportive parents. Children like Hannah, and she's still a child to Mom (Jasmin) and Dad (Allan), aren't accidentally raised. They are intentionally nourished and guided to be well-rounded spiritually, academically, and extra-curricularly. The result is a confident and disciplined teenager who knows she is loved and excels in my Bible class. (I don't think I'm violating any privacy rules by telling you Hannah has a 97% in Gospels.) Jesus told His followers, "Take heart; I have overcome the world."  I know one girl who has listened to the Savior. Hannah has heart in abundance and she leaves their pictures scattered all across her homework. It's the best kind of art I know.

Applicable quote of the day:
Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead."
Oscar Wilde

* Thanks to Hannah's parents for permission for use of the pictures!*

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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