When it comes to basketball, I believe that if a senior can make it through high school, especially 4 consecutive years, that commitment should be recognized and respected. Every single senior night should end with a standing ovation.
The players have put countless hours into a sport or even many sports. They have learned of success and failure. They have risked reputations in front of their classmates and hundreds of others. They risk ridicule for any miscue by people who are unwilling or unable to do what they do.
I believe their parents being involved is incredibly important. They have gotten them where they are. They have listened, cajoled, disciplined, and helped them along the way. Sometimes with the coach and sometimes against the coach which is fine...parents love their children and want what is best for them individually sometimes.
I can remember as a child watching the Senior Nights and how impressed I was at the older guys. I really thought they were men and women. As my Senior Night approached, I remember not feeling as old as I remember the other seniors looking. But I remember walking out with my mom and dad and at the time I didn't completely understand what they did for me, but I appreciated them.
What my parents did....when I was younger and I would come home after a loss, my father actually stopped at a grocery store and bought me gum (there was a commercial, Big Red, I believe that a parent did this) I thought it was ridiculous, but now I understand what he was doing. My father joked often about mixing up baseball and basketball, I am still not sure to this day if he were kidding or serious, but he was at my sporting events. Yes, sometimes reading a book, but he was there supporting me and for that I know how important I was to him.
My mother was who I got my love for and intensity for basketball from. The story I tell is that I was born in October and my mom had me at Henryville basketball games in November and December. She was a staunch defender of the boys and often not so much the coach "Come on Doutaz!" I think were some of the first words I asked her about. Who was Doutaz? What do you want him to do? She was there for the success and failures as only a mother can be.
My father did two great things for me as a father and a supporter of my coach when I was in high school. 1. He never relived the game with me. He had zero desire to do so, but that is very important that I was able to go home and NOT have to talk about basketball if I didn't want to, and 2. I came home as a freshman after a pre season practice and was complaining about my coach. My father said "Listen, you are either going to be quiet and play (which I wouldn't put up with that he said) or you're going to be quiet and quit....either way, I don't want to hear you complaining."
So, Senior Night tonight....thank you to the athletes and thank you to the parents for your support of both me and your son. You have done a good job in raising your son, a perspective that I know a little bit more about now as a parent.
Being a parent is not an easy job....not at all.