Have you ever watched a basketball game with your eyes only on the referees? I don’t think I can watch it any other way, thanks to my big brother, DJ. I do not watch TV much, but I do have a cable bill that proves I have just about every sports channel, ESPNU, ESPN2, ESPN, Fox Sport 1 & 2, CBS Sports Network, Big Ten Network, all because I love watching my big brother.
As his little sister, I looked forward to his high school basketball games. My eyes watched him intently and I definitely voiced my opinion on any bad call I saw the referees making against my brother. I might have thought they were all bad calls.
I was one of those little sisters who looked up to her big brother. He taught me what it meant to work hard, to work on the skills that needed to be developed, and to give it your all when you were out on the court. Skills that I not only applied to my own athletic endeavors growing up… but life skills I still use today.
You see, DJ was always practicing. He would shoot baskets in the driveway, practicing his free throw shots since being 6 feet 8 ½ inches tall would draw many fouls. During the off-season (and that included summer), he would set up a circuit area in the garage, dribbling exercises, jumping rope, jumping over the picnic bench…there was a lot of jumping.
When DJ left for college, there definitely was a hole missing in my heart. No more basketball games, no more rooting for my big brother in the stands, no more commenting on the referees’ calls, no more big brother hanging around.
Times have changed, but some things never change. I am still his little sister who looks up to him and admires his work ethic. I admire his quiet confident stature and I definitely admire his patience (I would say that has grown over the years).
I still enjoy watching him run up and down the basketball court, but this time he is not in a college uniform, he is in the black and white striped shirt with a whistle in his mouth. I am still protective of him, and voice my opinion to the TV when the announcers make a comment on a call my brother made or when a coach starts yelling or when a player thinks he can talk back.
Times really don’t change too much.