This is another more personal post – I hope you enjoy reading my recollections.
Throughout junior high and high school, one of my favorite yearly memories was the Nebraska Boys State Basketball Tournament. Almost every year we had Friday off the week of state tournament. And often that 2nd Friday in March was a lovely day outside, just like today. I remember wearing shorts – something that was not a part of our private school dress code at the time.
The first year I distinctly remember the tournament was watching my school, Lincoln Christian, win for the first time in 1988, when I was in 8th grade. (I must confess I had to look at the NSAA record books to verify that was in fact the year). Being a part of the hype and the experience was such fun! I can even still tell you many of the players names. Now when we managed to win three extremely close games when I was a junior in high school in 1991, the week-end was almost unreal. These were my friends on the court, and I greatly enjoyed seeing them get the victory. For some odd reason, we had a high school teacher that let us listen to the state game tapes during class while we were working on papers. With headphones in our walkmans. (Yes, I think I must be old!)
I missed some of the following years of games due to being at college, but my brother informs me that Lincoln Christian played the eventual state champion almost every year consecutively for a long stretch. Unfortunately for our teams, most of the time they were on losing end. I do remember relishing seeing my brother play a part of the team for a few years – I had moved back and was actually teaching at Lincoln Christian his last two years of high school. I know I was in attendance in 1999 when L.C.S. won state again, and my brother made the long trek back from college in Indiana to see his former teammates win the C1 finals
The picture that I posted yesterday was from 2004. If you look closely, you can see that the medals were silver. The boys were runners-up that year. I know that I attended at least one of the games that year, probably with my 17 month old in tow. (He has been a basketball fan all of his life basically). This was the year that life transitioned. No longer was I watching friends – instead my former students were the ones storming the court.
As Lincoln Christian has made tournament appearances in recent years, we have enjoyed catching a game or two. I dragged all four kids to the 2nd round game three years ago. A cool high school from our church was on the team then, and the kids greatly enjoyed watching Eli play in person. While the names on the backs of the jerseys have changed, the experience has not. Catching a great game of hoops is always a great possibility during Nebraska Boys State Basketball Tournament time! While I do not know any of the teams this year, I am sure we will watch a bit of a game or two (or more) tomorrow. In fact, you can see the games on NET or watch the games live on NET. Go, teams!
P.S. A big thank you to Lincoln Christian Director of Admissions, Jill Baker, for finding the Lincoln Christian basketball pictures for me for the past two weeks. She was a BIG help. I am sure she would be glad to tell you more about Lincoln Christian. I can speak from experience as a former student and former teacher that the school is a great place to learn!