Yesterday, I got a phone call. It went something like this:
BJ:"May I speak to Coach Bowens?"
Me:"This is she."
BJ:"Do you know who this is?"
Me:"It sounds like BJ."
BJ: (giggling)"Yeah, it's me. I just called to let you know that I signed with Southern Miss and I really want to thank you for everything that you did."
Me:"Southern Miss, huh. Did you know that was my alma mater?"
BJ:"That's what they told me."
Me:"I'm really proud of you BJ. If anyone deserves this, you do and I will be coming to watch you."
BJ:"Yeah, cause you are an alumni."
Me:"That's right. Seriously, I wish you nothing but the best and everything your heart desires."
BJ:"Thanks coach. You will really never know how much you helped me on and off the court. Tell Je, I said Hi and I'm sending him a t-shirt."
Me:"I will. He is really going to miss you."
BJ:"Me, too. I'm gonna miss all of you."
Me:"Bye and good luck."
BJ:"Nope, coach. See ya later and good luck."
Before this conversation, I don't think that I really understood the impact that coaching has had on my life. BJ is a great kid and no one that I have taught or coached deserves this more. And while BJ was thanking me, I was thanking her. For renewing my spirit and fight. For brightening my day. For giving me hope. You see, that phone call taught me that even when you think that your actions are small. They are not. Even when you wanna quit, you are holding someone up. Even when things look bleak, someone is smiling because you are in their life.
Each day I teach and I wonder if I have reached anyone. I always stress how my children watch my actions. The thing that I rarely think about is the effect that I have on my players lives. Of course, there is a special bond there, but rarely do I think about how the little things that I do for them because I'm their coach, translate into bigger things to them.
May God's blessings carry BJ as far as her mind, spirit and talent can take her. Thanks BJ. You meant more to me than you will ever know.