I love college basketball and always have. My team is the UNC Tarheels and I was watching games starting at the age of three.
My family would gather around the TV watching, yelling, and jumping up and down together. I watched with friends, my Episcopal Young Churchman group, college chums. Earlier in 2022 when my mom was still alive, we enjoyed the game still together when I would visit. Or we’d chat after a really good one and go over the assists, the three point shots, the defense, or ball handling and steals.
UNC was where I dreamed of going to college and where I ultimately graduated. I would attend and be present for the 1982 NCAA championship when Michael Jordan, a junior at the time, made a nineteen foot jumpter to seal the second title since UNC player Joe Quigg’s epic two free throws won the 1957 championship against Wilt Champerlain’s Kansas team. That 1982 year was a great time to be at the school if you were a basketball fan.
A few months after Charles died, my best friend Martha called and said that the tarheels were playing in the final game of the ACC chamipionship in northern Virignia, just two hours north of me and she invited us up because she had gotten four tickets. She had great seats and wondered if we wanted to join? Her husband, Peter, had also gone to UNC and the answer was, “yes.” We won and I remember how good it felt to escape the blinding grief that had me in its embrace and do something so normal and that had always brought me so much joy. (Or angst depending on which team won.)
The competition, strategy, and team spirit of being a tarheel fan all my life is something for which I am truly grateful on day #8 of the #thegratitudeproject.
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