Coach Reese has been my basketball coach pretty much from the time I started playing. He was also my sisters coach and has been a huge part of my family ever since I was a little girl on the sidelines doing cartwheels, oblivious to the fact that he would become a big part of my life and a main reason I love the game. Know don't get me wrong, he wasn't the nicest person and worked me harder than people twice my age. But he never allowed me to back down, sit down, or give up and for that I thank him.
Earlier this month, during a late practice, I was sitting on the floor stretching and doing ankle exercises. He pulled up a chair and sat in it, but not once in all the years of him coaching have I seen him sit in the chair. He either squats sits against the wall, on the base line or is standing up. I didn't think much into it, until the next day my mom told me he had a stroke in the middle of the night and was in a coma. At first it was hard to even wrap my brain around because all my life he was always strong and sturdy, as if nothing could break him.
This summer was the first summer I didn't play under Coach Reese in 5 years. It was weird, but there was also an extra weight on my shoulders, a weight that wouldn't allow me to stop playing or let my team down because I knew that's what he would want. It was a rough year without him on the basketball circuit, but this summer was about so much more than the game of basketball. It was about honoring a man that took groups of girls and gave them teammates that became sisters and lessons that would carry them through a lifetime. Many people don't know his name and he is one person that did a seemingly little thing; coaching basketball, but made an immense impact on the lives of many young girls on the basketball circuit.