DEAR DIARY: Day Six
Lady Lions Last Day in Indiana
Inspired to Play Basketball for God
Our final morning in northern Indiana was short. We got to sleep in!!
We ate at Quizno’s at 11am before returning to the hotel to pack for our departure after our last game. We’re anxious to play and also to come home.
We arrived at the gym where we got ready for our game and watched the end of the Mid America Christian and Grace College game.
While waiting Chelsea and I sat down and talked with Shanna Crossley, the WNBA player who has served as the tournament chaplain. We sought some encouragement and advice.
She spoke to us about glorifying God in the game of basketball. She said “The court is our sanctuary and basketball a form of worship.” Then explained that “ …it is a slap in the face to God when we don't give 100%. He has given us this opportunity as well as the ability to play basketball.”
Our thoughts the day after losing and missing the championship was countered by excellent encouragement from her. She said, "Yeah, you don't get to play for a national championship, but you still get to play." She advised us to really "look at playing like a worship time with just you and the Lord regardless of what the refs are doing, the way your teammates are playing, or the way your coaches are coaching.”
Then it hit me that I'm really on the court to play for God. Not for myself or anyone else.
It really opened our eyes and fired us up. We then went into the locker room to share with the rest of the team what Shanna had told us. The girls silently took it in, but with an understanding of how to glorify God with the way we play basketball.
We started the game (against Emmanuel College) off strong! Although they made runs throughout the game we held the lead the whole game, all the way until the finish.
My Friend was Hurt
With over eight minutes left on the game clock the whistle blew and I saw Chelsea on the floor in pain. It really broke my heart to see her there because I knew she was really hurt and had a feeling she wouldn't come back in the game to finish her last game. She stayed there for a while on her knees unable to get up. We soon realized she had hurt her ankle and Coach Rod (Jacob Rodriguez) and the athletic trainer (Kevin Schwartz) for Grace College helped her off the court.
When they took off her shoe her ankle immediately swelled up to the size of a tennis ball. If you were watching the game online I heard they zoomed in for a good look. I was determined to finish strong and win because I knew this was it - our last chance and we didn't have ‘Chels’ the rest of the game.
They took her to the hospital before the game was over, I didn't realize how bad it was until after the game when Coach (Arlon) Beadles requested prayer for her in the post-game prayer. I was really sad that she didn't get to finish the last game especially with everything she's been through this semester with her health. But she has stayed strong, even when we thought she was too ill to finish the second half of the season. I respect her for that.
It was really cool to win, 57-46. I really feel like we were determined to do it, that we willed ourselves to win. We weren't going to settle for a loss. We played SAGU basketball and I'm happy to end with a win. Hey, third in the nation isn't too bad I guess.
Heather (Jefferson) gave a little speech in the locker room after the game saying that she's really enjoyed playing with us and thanked everybody for their hard work. It has truly been an honor to be able to play with Steph (Stephanie Hawkins), Heather, and Chelsea.
Seniors' Swan Song
To know that I won't step on the court with them again competitively makes me sad, but the memories I have will never be forgotten. Coach also announced that Stephanie was chosen on the First Team All-Tournament. She most definitely deserved that recognition. Chelsea also was selected an NCCAA All American, which is awesome as well.
After the cleaning up, Stephanie and I rode with my parents to the hospital where Chelsea was getting her X-rays while the rest of the team went to eat at Pizza Hut. We went to the room Chelsea was in and actually had a good time, as weird as that sounds.
Chelsea was happy to hear that we won. I'm sure that made her feel a little better. They finally got the results from her the X Rays and found it was not fractured. Praise God! She will be getting an MRI when we get back to Texas.
While we were waiting my dad (James Harris) went and got Steph, Chels and me some food from Quizno's. It sure was thoughtful.
The hospital gave her some meds. Her prescription was filled and then we hit the road.
Mamma "B" (Mary Beadles) told us that the moon was closer to the earth than it had been in 18 years so we had fun looking at that and trying to take pictures. Then someone started singing the song, "People Get Ready Jesus is Coming," which Chelsea had gotten stuck in our heads all week from singing it. Ironically they played that song while we were warming up too.
We were all pretty hyper for the first couple of hours on the road even though some of us were trying to do homework. Then we settled down and all went to sleep and woke up at 2:30am in Greenville, Illinois. We’re just east of St. Louis, Missouri. We’re staying at an Econo Lodge to sleep for the night.
Carl, our bus driver, needs his rest to take us all the way back to Texas. We’ll have 570 miles to go to be back on campus. Getting away is always fun, but coming home is always special.
That was it for the night so we will see y'all late tomorrow (Sunday) night! Yay for coming home!
It was a very good season with so many memories. Our friendships will continue, but this will be our last trip together. I am so glad for what we accomplished and experienced as a team.
Lamb Chop (Rachel Harris)