Love and Basketball

Love and Basketball

Matthew Hartman

“Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything.”

- Joseph Whelan, S.J. 

There is a level of intensity to that quote that is certainly out of place in a youth sports blog. Hi, I'm Coach Matt, and that kind of dynamic absurdity is likely to continue :)

I remember when I fell in love with basketball. In 4th grade at Bud Gardler’s camp at O’Hara, I was going through the motions from drill to drill. 

Not yet 9 am, the coach running the defensive station was in a full sweat. Veins were popping out of veins, and his defensive stance was violent, vicious. I’ve never seen anyone care about anything more than this college sophomore demonstrating how to step-slide across the hardwood. 

I grew up with a ball in my hands because I had an older brother who loved sports himself. But, this was different. I was captivated. He took the hardest part of playing, the least glorious element, and made it absolutely awesome!

His name was Steve Cloran, and he is the reason I fell in love with the game that day.

The quote from above continues…

“It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”

I do. I love basketball. And now I get to do it full-time.

I am taking over the business from Steve and Kath, who spent the last 20 years replaying that scene for many of your kids. I am so thankful that they considered me as the person to continue what they started. 

Sure, it’s just basketball. But, look again, and you’ll see that the sport is a vehicle for many of life’s lessons. From our camps and leagues to this blog, hoops will always be a trojan horse for so much more. 

I’ll see you on the court. 

- Coach Matt


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