Sunday, March 8, 2009

The happiness of making someone happy

This weekend was by far one of my most memorable weekends since I've been in the city. Friday night I went to dinner with some friends at my favorite sushi place, and the manager and waiter/waitresses are so friendly and treat me like family. Everytime I walk in I make sure to greet them and have a conversation, I always tip well, and try to show my face atleast a few times a week. They have definitely been so nice every time I come in. Anyway, friday was nothing short of a usual night there. A free appetizer, great service, and sometimes a free dessert, but friday - two desserts. Henry, the manager is so personable with every customer there, yet he makes you feel like you're the only one there.

On Saturday... Reid, Pedro, Laura and I headed to Central Park on such a gorgeous day, it was 60 degrees in New York City which was a first since I've been here. We got off the train and entered into the park, we approached the basketball courts which were packed with people of all ages. I thought maybe since I was in the city things might be a little different, but sure enough, everyone was just out to enjoy the weather and wanted to have a good time. Well, minus the group of kids that tried to fight, nothing but words were exchanged but I actually stood in the middle and asked what was going on, and yes, I did feel pretty badass, but they were 13-15 years old...I shoulda left that part out because then I could have looked real tough. But anyway, Reid, Pedro and I shot around for a little but it was way to busy to get a game going. So, one of the courts were occupied by some youngins probably all between 10 to 15 years old, so I went and shot around with them. I asked if they wanted to play a game, and they quickly accepted the notion. So we picked teams and here I was, 22 years old playing in a pick-up game with little 10 year olds. Pedro on one team helping the kids out and me on the other. I can honestly say I haven't had that much fun in a long long time. I was teaching the little ones how to cut to the basket, come off screens, and lots of movement always helps. And after about 20-30 minutes it was a whole new game, the kids were setting screens, running all over the place working for each other. We probably played for a solid hour and Eric and Jake were two little boys that were on my team - they both got so much better as the game went on. Jake in his dress shirt, khakis, and dress shoes and Eric with his black shirt and his very shy personality both turned into stars of the court. All because we gave them a little confidence, helped them out a little, showed them how to have fun, how to move, and how to score easy points. As people crowded around it was obvious that some older guys wanted to play, so we wound up our game. After we finished an older man approached me on the middle of the court and held out his hand to shake mine. He thanked me for being such a good presence on the court and helping his son learn how to "play" the game. He said hes never seen his son play like that and that him and his wife sat in awe on the sidelines watching their son have such an amazing time. I laughed and told him that Eric was a great player - which he was and told him when I was young I was given that same treatment by my dad, and he showed me how to "play". As I turned around and walked off the court, a lady approached me, this was Jake's mom - she too said the same thing to me. She thanked me for being so positive with her son even though he was throwing up air-balls left and right, that to him he didn't care because the boys out there accepted him because of how Pedro and I encouraged them. She had the biggest smile on her face and said I had no idea how thankful she was for bringing him out there that day. Those two comments made my day, it made my weekend...hell, it made my entire time here worth it. Just to see how much fun those kids were having, and remembering those days that I played basketball with little kids, and being so nervous and scared when older kids were around. But to give them that same lesson that my dad gave me 10 years ago was surreal.

So yeah, that alone made my weekend amazing...But the fact that I got to go to John's pizzeria with my favorite people, then red mango, a movie on the 16th floor, sugars cafe, clemson basketball game, and chipotle...Yeah - it was a great weekend for sure.

Monday is back again, ahhhhhh.


  1. It sure was a magical weekend.

    Never gonna forget that 3 pointer Eric and the amazing jump shooter Jake hehe. Also, never gonna forget my team cheering me on every time I tried to do a jump shot or a 3 pointer, but, unfortunately, failed shot after shot. At least I started off with a 3 pointer haha!

    I sure did learn a lot by playing with those kids though =P

  2. You constantly amaze me with your compassion for the 'little people'. Wish I could have been on the sidelines cheering with the other parents for a 'boy' that always makes me proud.

  3. Got to cut my hair. That's why I lost! =P