On Saturday, December 10th I was inducted into the Wayne County basketball Hall of Fame. This honor is something I grew up dreaming about. Numerous family members and friends couldn’t be there, so I wanted to share my brief acceptance speech here. My hope
Certainly no one arrives at an accomplishment like this without the help of others. So I would to begin by thanking a few people.
First of all, thanks to my mom and dad. Mom was my biggest supporter, and also my personal assistant who keep me doctored up and well fed. Dad was my biggest fan. To this day the image that comes to mind when I think of basketball is the picture of Dad on the front page of the newspaper giving me a big hug after we won the regional championship.
Thanks to my sister, Amelia, who was equally as talented, dedicated, and successful, and always cheered me on.
Thanks to Coach Rodney Woods, who taught me to never settle for less than the best, and to do it the right way.
Thanks to Coach Jack Baker, who taught me that if you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.
Thanks to Coach Hardin Phillips, who taught me the importance of the fundamentals, both in basketball and in life.
Thanks to Coach Kevin Jones, who was one of the first coaches to invest in me in the early days of 6th and 7th grade.
Thanks to Coach Allen Burchett, who taught me to always make the bunnies (if you get an easy shot, make it).
Thanks to Coach Andy Sloan, who was always there with encouragement, which I needed so much.
Thanks to my teammates, who made me a better player.
Thanks to the wider basketball staff, the Wayne County schools personnel, and the Wayne County community for their overwhelming support.
Most of all, thanks to four men who are already in the Hall of Fame: David Phillips, William Shearer, Trent Owens, and Richard Ramsey. When I was in the 6th grade they came to my church as part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and led a service, singing songs, acting out skits, and sharing testimonies about their relationship with Jesus Christ. I idolized these varsity basketball players, so I listened to every word they said. That night, Jesus changed my life in a way that I would never get over.
The game of basketball taught me many things, but I learned as much from my shortcomings as my successes. I never made it past 5’10”, I never won a state championship, and I never played for the University of Kentucky. Though basketball could be some things, I learned it could not be all things.
When anyone remembers me as a basketball player, or sees my name written in the Hall of Fame, I hope they don’t just think of a good player, but of one whose life was truly changed by Christ. In him, our glory days are always ahead of us, not behind.
Thank you for this honor.