Reflections On Fatherhood

A writer at Sports Illustrated attends his 9-year-old daughter's basketball game:

Some people think winning and losing is important even at this level because it teaches competitive spirit, and that may be true, I'll leave that to the psychologists. But I really don't care who wins. I mean really, zippo, don't care. I happily cheer both teams. Maybe I'll care when they're 10 or 11, I don't know. Maybe I'll turn into one of those parents they make documentaries about. But for now -- don't care. I just want them to have a blast. The game turned out to be a close one, decided on a last second shot, but that didn't matter to me. What mattered to me was that Elizabeth and her teammates played their hearts out. And Elizabeth even touched the ball a few times. She stepped in front of a couple of passes. She dribbled down the court. And this one time, well, a teammate tried a shot that bounced off the rim, and Elizabeth -- rather than ducking -- reached up and caught it. An offensive rebound. It was great. And then she did the most remarkable thing I have ever seen on a basketball court.

She shot the ball.

And it went in.

Elizabeth did not celebrate her shot. I think she was too stunned to celebrate. She ran back down court while everyone who had watched her struggle to get the ball to the rim cheered madly. I would not say it was the proudest moment of my life because both girls have already given me so many more meaningful proud moments. But it might have been the most stunning proud moment of my life. She did not take another shot the rest of the game, of course, so her shooting percentage is 100%, which I believe is a record.