As many of you good readers know, our church is undergoing an expansion project. If all goes according to plan, by the middle of September we will be ready to move into our new Christian Life Center. We'll have a large hall for hosting events, Bible studies, meals and other activities; classroom space to grow our Sunday school; an upstairs area dedicated to our older youth; a proper kitchen with all the amenities; more storage for our stuff (and what church doesn't have "stuff"); a new over-flow seating area in the sanctuary; new office space, and music room; and a small chapel for those who seek a quiet place to pray.
I'm encouraged by all the activity that is taking place on our campus each day. Our foreman, Rick, seems to be really on top of the project and is working hard to ensure that we meet our completion date in September.
I've looked over the building plans many times now and it finally dawned on me that we're missing something. It's important. I don't know how we overlooked it.
Where is the new basketball hoop?
Now, I was told that we won't be able to play basketball in the new hall because the ceiling won't be high enough. That was disappointing news but I can live with it.
But surely we can find a place somewhere on our property to place a basketball hoop.
Shooting jumpers was one of my favorite past times for a good part of my life.
I fell in love with basketball in 1968. LSU featured one of the great players of all time - "Pistol" Pete Maravich.
I loved Pistol Pete's creativity on the court. He didn't just dribble the ball. He dribbled the ball behind his back, between his legs. He was magician.
And there wasn't a shot Pistol Pete couldn't take or make. He could drive to the basket and shoot with either hand. Or he could pull up and hit the long jumper with a hand in his face.
Maravich is college basketball's all time scorer. It was once determined that he would have added another eight to ten points to his scoring average had the three point line existed in his day.
It's been years since I've grabbed a ball and gone out to hit some jumpers on the basketball court. Now, in my old age, I'm ready to do it again.
I was at a graduation party a few weeks ago and ran into a few guys with whom I used to mix it up on the court. We had a great time swapping memories. We played in some epic games (at least they were epic to us!)
Somebody said, "We should get together and play again." Wow! Bad idea.
To a man, we all had put on a little weight. OK, a lot of weight. We also spent a fair amount of time talking about our aches and pains. I've got a bad back. My right knee has been getting along without an ACL for the past 25 years. Someday I'll be joining the knee-replacement club (not looking forward to that!). We concluded that none of us had any business running up and down a basketball court.
And then we hit on it - we could hold free-throw shooting contests!
This would be perfect. No running around. Just stand at the free-throw line and fire away. Might need a little "Icy Hot" for the shoulder and elbow afterward but that would be a small price to pay to be involved once again in fierce competition (as fierce as shooting free-throws can get).
So, when I get to the office this morning, my first order of business is to find Rick the foreman. We need to discover the perfect place for the basketball hoop. Can't be shooting into the sun. Actually, a place where I could stand in the shade would be great. A nearby water fountain would really be a help. Maybe I should invest in a one of those "Life Alert" buttons as a precaution. Should I be stricken from shooting too many free-throws I'd surely want some help.
At my age you can't take too many chances!