Friday, February 10, 2017

For Another

Coach Morales is the head coach for the Coronado (Texas) High School boys’ basketball team. Mitchell is the team manager. Mitchell loves basketball and according to his mom, had a basketball in his hand ever since he was little. And, he is Coach Morales’ favorite on the team.

Fast forward to the final game.

Mitchell is told by Coach Morales to suit up because he’s going to play. With about a minute and a half left in the game and with Coronado leading by ten points, Mitchell goes in and the crowd goes crazy, chanting, “Mitchell! Mitchell! Mitchell!”

Coach Morales was asked by the reporter if he was prepared to lose in order for Mitchell to play. Without hesitation, Morales said, “Yes. For his moment, yes.” Regardless of what the score was, and regardless of whether or not Coronado was winning or losing, in Morales’ mind, Mitchell was going to play.

Morales didn’t expect Mitchell to score. He hoped they didn’t lose, but in order for Mitchell to play, he, and his team, were willing to risk losing. His teammates did everything they could to help Mitchell score a basket, but shot after shot was missed.

No fairy tale ending this time. No winning basket made by Mitchell.

But . . .

With seconds left to the final buzzer, the ball intended to Mitchell is fumbled out of bounds once again. Mitchell is standing near his own basket and near where the ball is being inbounded by the opposing team.

Magic happens . . .

A senior on the opposing team, Jonathan, yells out Mitchell’s name. Mitchell turns around and Jonathan passes him the ball. And yes, just before the buzzer sounds, Mitchell makes a basket. His first basket. His only basket.

The crowd, who had been chanting, “Mitchell! Mitchell! Mitchell!” almost from the time he had entered the game, poured onto the court. They lift the young man up and carry him off like a hero.

The reporter asked Jonathan why he did that, why he passed the ball to the opposing player, Mitchell. Humbly, Jonathan smiled shyly and said, “I was raised to treat others how you want to be treated. I just thought Mitchell deserved his chance. He deserved his opportunity.”

It wasn’t the winning shot. Coronado won by fifteen or so. It was one shot in a whole bunch that was attempted and made.


I think not.

Not for Coach Morales who wanted to give a moment to Mitchell. Not for Mitchell’s parents who sat in the stands and probably couldn’t believe their eyes. Not for Mitchell’s teammates who tried to get him to score. Not for Jonathan who was raised to treat others as you would want to be treated, and who felt Mitchell deserved his opportunity. And certainly not for Mitchell who had his moment, who had his name called out by the announcer and chanted by the fans and who was carried off the court on their shoulders.

Magic happens if we allow it to happen. Fairy tales can happen if we believe we can make a positive difference in the lives of others. Coach Morales and Jonathan made magic happen. Mitchell found himself in a fairy tale.

It was Jonathan’s moment. It was Coronado High School’s moment. It was Coach Morales’ moment. And, it was Mitchell’s moment.

Can we create a moment . . . some magic . . . a fairy tale for others? I bet we can . . . if we want to. Something to think about . . .

A Note: the clip is only 2:38 long, but it is worth it and can be found at:

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