Why I Believe in Sports
If you’ve been following Knight Eady on social media this week, you know we are neck deep in the AHSAA Basketball State Finals. This is one of my favorite weeks of the year. I love the game of basketball, high school sports and having a job where I get to spend all day with great people. Mostly, I love this week because it tells a much bigger story about the power of sports and its positive impact on peoples’ lives.
It was 18 years ago when I played in this same tournament, so being here always brings back great memories for me. Although we didn’t win a championship, that team changed my life forever. I wasn’t a very good player in high school, but I loved playing, and I loved my team. The guys I played high school basketball are still some of my closest friends. They were each in my wedding and I was in theirs. But it wasn’t just the relationships with my teammates that were special; it was also the relationship I developed with my high school coach.
I know it’s not that unusual for a player to develop a relationship with his or her coach that lasts a lifetime, but most of those special player-coach relationships involve the players that played a major role in the success of their team. This simply wasn’t the case for me. I may have been on the short end of playing time, but I understood my role and loved it. I got the opportunity to be part of a great team with some of my best friends in the world.
The investment my high school coach made in my life continues to impact me to this day. Throughout my life, my high school basketball coach has been one of the most influential people in my life. It wasn’t just his influence on the court that shaped me, but the interest he took in me off the court. Through the game of basketball, he taught us all how to be men. His example showed us how to be good husbands and fathers and, most importantly, how to love God.
At Knight Eady, it might sound cliché when we say, “We Believe in Sports,” but for me it’s personal and means so much. I experienced it firsthand in high school, and this past week I got to experience it as a grown man. It’s why participating in the AHSAA State Finals means so much to our company. I hope this experience can help shape these young people the same way it shaped me.
So thank you to all the coaches who are investing in all these kids. Thank you to the staff at the BJCC who worked long hours this week. Thanks to the media who covered the event and put these young people in the spotlight and told their stories so well. Thanks to the City of Birmingham for being such a gracious host. Thanks to the AHSAA and their leadership in making the State Finals happen. Thanks to the Knight Eady staff for the many hours they put into the production of this event. But mostly, thank you to my high school teammates (Maddox, Jason, and Jared) and my high school coach, Chris Laatsch, for helping to shape me into the person I am today. I guess you could say that I believe in sports because my high school coach believed in me.