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March 3, 2014

Let me tell you a little story.

Last week my grandson Croz and I attended the OPSU basketball game in Goodwell. After the game the OPSU Center Tavien Rosemond, who is 6’7”, met the short first grader Croz. Tavien hollered for a basketball and proceeded to hold the little guy up so he could “dunk.”

This brought such wonderful memories back of Croz’s mother, Missy, being held up to “dunk” the ball when she was about the same age. Memories like that just give a good feeling in your heart, you know?

OPSU basketball guard, Krys Randolph, made the comment, “That little guy will remember that forever.” I know he will. His mama did.

In fact, Croz brought his best friend Ethan to the next game on Saturday so Ethan could meet “his new best buddy.” Croz waited on the floor for Tavien, but neither of us saw that he was waiting, so by the time Croz came to the other end of the court Tavien was gone.

Croz was so disappointed.

So OPSU forward Bill Lee called Tavien up and told him that his little dunking friend was there to see him. Tavien had already changed clothes and was home. But he came back to the gym so his new little friend could see him.

Those basketball players had an exciting, hard playing game on Saturday afternoon. And they came away short on the points. But I would never call them anything but winners. When your last game, and your loss, are set aside so you can make a little person happy, you’re nothing but a winner.

Didn’t get to go to all the games, but I thoroughly enjoyed each one that was able to go to. They’re fun and they’re exciting.

All of the interaction started because Main Street Guymon and the Chamber of Commerce worked together to have a “Lunch with an Aggie” during the Christmas break for the basketball teams. We invited the public and had a lunch with the players. That’s when I met them. And that little bit of community helping from everyone works to build relationships. And relationships are the basis of getting things done and doing good things.

I love the OPSU athletes and their coaches. They bring fun things to attend. They bring visitors whenever their parents or others come to town. They bring future people who have a tie to the Panhandle, many who choose to stay here. And they can bring happiness to little guys like Croz and Ethan.

Each time I attended a game, the coaches greeted me and made me feel special. They were so polite. You and I know that I did little, but I gained much.

For one thing, I am a member of the Rotary and were it not for those OPSU basketball players, golfers, and football players we could not pull off the Pioneer Day Rotary BBQ without painkillers. They come and pitch in to get ready, to serve, and to clean up.

So, my hat is off to those coaches that are helping these players the importance of community and to each and every one of the players that helps, and especially to those who do it with a smile.

I’m proud of you. I’m lucky to know you.

See you on the bricks!