Rough News

I have had a heavy heart the past two days. Two nights ago, I saw a Twitter message from a local news source stating a young juvenile had been arrested for a murder that took place in Columbia Heights this past Saturday evening. Anytime I see a story about violence in Columbia Heights, I fear I will recognize one of the names in the story. I coached two seasons (’05-’07) of Young Life junior high basketball in the neighborhood before I went back to school for my master’s degree.

This week’s story was no different. I feared I would recognize a name, and sure enough, the 17-year-old arrested for murder was on my team in 2007 when he was 15. According to the news story, he shot at some other men from his bike, but his bullets fatally hit a woman walking up the street instead.

Early in June 2007, I attended the funeral of another young man from the 2007 team after he was killed by a bullet meant for someone else, and died at the age of 13.

Down a man

We had to cut our first player of the year this week. Little T had way too much attitude for a 12 year-old. We simply couldn’t keep him from cussing his teammates and coaches out. Where do these young kids get these attitudes?

Coaching again

Well, my blog didn’t really get off the ground last year (Dec 2005). Another year has gone by, and here I am writing post #2!Once again, Heather and I will be coaching the Columbia Heights Young Life Junior High basketball team. We are holding our first practice tomorrow, and we only have two returning players from last year’s team.I am really excited to start another season!

Practice, I think…

I had my first night of coaching tonight up in Columbia Heights at the youth center. I am not sure that any trained eye would call the experience a basketball practice. Scuffling…yes, practicing…maybe. Anyways, I am really excited to get the chance to be doing this. I am up for the challenge, I think. I am coaching with Heather, who really has a good understanding of the kids, and the homes that they are coming from. I expect to learn a lot about the behavioral problems of urban adolescents, and practice my patience skills along with firm leadership.