Something a bit different this week for Sundays Are For Sebastian. This past week was the end of the season banquet for Sebastian’s high school J.V. basketball team, for which I serve as the coach. He was clearly the best player on the team this year, so I had to talk about him a bit before handing him his MVP award. I thought I would share with you what I said.
This year’s Most Valuable Player was fairly easy to choose. He led the team in scoring, rebounding, free throws attempted and made (although not percentage, much to his mother’s chagrin), field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage, and minutes played, he was tied for the lead in assists and third in steals. So the choice was easy, but I knew talking about him would be tough. About halfway through the year after he scored 26 points in a losing effort, it occurred to me that this would likely be the last year that I would ever have the privilege to coach one of my sons. When I first started coaching, some thirty-odd years ago, I was jealous of other coaches who had their children on their team, but I was not quite sure why. This year it became pretty clear although it remains hard to describe. There is just a connection that is often nonverbal but always there. For instance, during games, I never had to call out his name—if I barked out a direction with no name attached, he knew I was talking to him. If he made a bad decision or knew he made a mistake, he wouldn’t look over, he would just put up his hand as if to say “I know, I know.” But perhaps the best part about coaching your own child is getting to see him for an extra couple of hours a day and being thus granted a fantastic seat to witness your son becoming a leader and a man. I will certainly miss that. This year’s Most Valuable Player is Sebastian Kralik.
Congratulations to Sebastian and to his wonderful coach.