“The game I love can be so cruel” -F. Crowell

Basketball became the love of my life in fourth grade.  Anacortes, Washington, a small town on Fidalgo Island was a hotbed for good basketball.

Brian Rockom had a record of the famous Harlem Trotters. He would set up a record player on a court with rims low enough a grade school kid could dunk. Rockom would play the Trotters famous Sweet Georgia Brown.

We basketball danced for hours imitating Marcus the late Haynes and Sweetwater Lemon. It was pure joy to meet the greatness basketball dribbler ever 60 years later. I told Mr. Haynes this story. He smiled.

Life couldn’t be better than this. We were in basketball heaven.

March Madness is the NCAA brand name for a month of spectacular hoops. Each round bets the university team hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

The madness is not inclusive for college players, High schools throughout the nation are in a state of madness!

This madness connotes extreme excitement.  Synonyms would be words like fanatic, zealous, crazy and euphoric.

What fun. What joy. If!

If? If what?  

If we win the game! The greater the investment the greater the loss.

Tears filled our locker room in 1960 when our Anacortes team lost our dream of being state champions.

As the basketball season comes to an end only one team ends the season with a win.

The greater the investment the greater the loss.  

The pain for so many basketball players at season end is enormous. My life experience and my professional research has convinced me that as many as 8 out of 10 basketball players are disappointed with their basketball experience.

This is where the definition of madness changes from Excitement to Sadness.

One might or maybe should be asking. Where is the Hope in this story?

Simply stated – I love basketball because it is the best tool I have in my tool box to teach kids to:

Never quit
Love to work hard
Set goals – high goals
Say NO to destructive behaviors
Learn to fail and get busy to win
Live life more than basketball
Respect authority
Obey rules

Reality check. The greater the investment the greater the loss.


The greater the investment the greater the reward.

Like basketball life can be so cruel. It takes enormous courage to commit to winning whether on the basketball court or the game of life I call LIFEBALL.

It takes far more commitment when you lose basketball games that end dreams. Same goes for serious illness, destroyed relations, financial collapse, and the death of loved ones.

Basketball and life are cruel teachers. Are they worth it? I say YES. Life is our gift. What we do with His gift is our gift to the world.


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