Monday, October 12, 2009

For all the Men

This is a quick shout out to the men in each community who take care. Thank you for your support.

Today I got to basketball practice on the outside courts down the beach. Myself, along with a couple other of extraordinary people, have been coaching a group of teen island girls whom I have known since I moved here. The girls have really risen to the challenge. There will definitely be more to come about that.

But today I have a complaint. I was told by one of the girls that a grown man from the neighborhood was hanging on our last of 5 previously-functioning basketball rims and broke it off. That was the last one. The week before, an island guy who I know from playing beach volleyball, strolled onto the court with a few other guys, 5 minutes before our practice was to start. I explained that we have the courts in a few minutes. 15 minutes later, after our warm up, we took the court for our drills. The boys, I call them this not because of their age, rather their mentality, told us that they would leave when the game was over, not even stopping the game to talk to me, even. They left as we persisted, but not without one of them swinging back and forth from the corroded rim. Our male assistant coach, told him that was how the rims break. This ended in a rude confrontation, aye ya ya. Sooooo.... today we got to practice, no rim so we just conditioned. As 2 of our 14-year-old boys took it upon themselves to climb up to the broken hoop, unscrew it, unscrew a hoop from a downed rim and replace the broken hoop, with no solicitation or assistance, a boy(man) drop kicked the soccer ball from the other end of the court, with the ball landing a few feet from my players. I intercepted the ball return and explained they needed to give a warning. He mumbled obscenities at me, which was heard by a player. Not 5 minutes later, this guy, boots the ball again, only this time the ball barely misses a 1 and a half year old kid. I intercept the ball again and give it the director, who is, like myself a younger woman. So to wrap this rant up, I walked over to back her up with the guys and she was giving them a mouthful, but not the ball!! What a breath of fresh air. Sometimes I have to ask myself if this is in my head, these continual displays of ignorance, selfishness and disrespect that I see sometimes. So this man-boy was refused the ball and he sat on the sidelines watching our practice for the rest of the night. Maybe, hopefully, he picked up a lesson on teamwork. So thank you to the men in every community who look out for us, we appreciate it.

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