No, I am not referring to the holiday season that just passed. 'Tis the season for basketball, specifically high school basketball. Not that I don't enjoy the NBA or college game. But, I love prep hoops. I look forward to those first games played before the Christmas break. I anxiously await the four Pueblo city schools playing their girls/boys quadruple headers at the Events Center. I spend Mondays looking at the Sporst Slate in the Pueblo Chieftain and planning my week. If I lived closer to Denver, I would fill my nights bouncing from gym to gym. I love these four months that culminate with the state playoffs at the end of February and early March and lead up to my favorite sporting event of all, March Madness.
I miss my basketball family during the offseason. I miss all of the refs, players, and coaches that make up Colorado basketball, especially those here in Pueblo. For a group of people who's passion, like mine, is high school basketball, it is surprising how little contact we have when the season ends. I might run in to some of them from time to time. Some of them I will see during football season. But, I will cross paths with many of them only during these four months.
This particular hoops season is even more special for me. First, because my son has taken over the freshmen coaching reigns at Pueblo South High School, the very same job that I held just three years ago. Just when I think my kids can't keep making me proud, I am proven wrong while watching my boy coach a freshmen high school basketball game or my little girl play in a CSU-Pueblo jazz concert.
The second, and more relevant - at least to this blog, reason that this particular season is special is, of course, that my basketball family hasn't seen me in over 100 pounds! Just when I thought I was close to being done hearing how people don't recognize me, a new wave of people that I haven't seen in eight months is reacquainted with the new me. I look forward to walking in the gym and seeing those surprised faces. I can't wait to wander around the Events Center and watch people I know walk right past me.
Tomorrow night, Centennial will play East and South will play Central at the Events Center. I will be there. I will get up and walk around more than usual. Yes, I am vain. But, while I have been hard on myself throughout this journey, the one thing I won't avoid or deprive myself of are the compliments that seem like a fitting reward for all of my hard work. Here's to basketball season. old friends, and surprised faces...