Basketball in Haiti

When we came back from spending a month in the states, one of the best new things we drove up to was a new basketball court!  We had a generous donation made to cover the cost of the slab, the goals, and a couple of new basketballs, and we drove up to see the new court right next to the soccer field.  I know that there are a lot of other things to be excited about with All Things New, but having this court has been really fun.  I (Matt) have played with the kids almost every day that we have been back, and they cannot get enough of it.  Even when I suggest that we go and play soccer, they almost always prefer playing basketball.  I have not yet taught them how to really play in terms of how to shoot correctly, layups, rules of the game, how to make passes, and how to dribble well, but those things are coming.  The best thing so far is that we have a new way to connect to each other.

In the past, I have played soccer with them, and I can play a little but most of them are better than I am.  I cannot really show them anything that they do not already know and in fact, they can show me quite a bit.  When we play basketball, however, it is a different story.  Now, I am not a great basketball player, but compared to people who have only played soccer their whole lives they think I am really good.  They constantly ask me how to play and they always want to talk to me about rules and basketball players in America.  In fact, they could sit around the house and talk to me about basketball for hours if I let them, and they always want to see videos of the NBA and Michael Jordan (the best player ever) specifically.

The funny thing about their new desire to play basketball is that I know that it is not a love of basketball as much as it is a way for us to connect.  I remember when I was younger and I tried to like the things that my Dad liked because I wanted to be close to him.  In many instances, those things became things that I really enjoyed doing, but almost everything we do as children we do because we want to be like or spend time with someone else.  One of my favorite things about our new basketball court is that I can see our boys doing this with me.  They ask me everyday to come and play with them, they ask me to watch them when they do things, and they look for my approval a lot (which I give them constantly) every time we play.  I like to play basketball and I like the extra workout I have been getting, but by far the best part of our new basketball court is that I have a new way to connect to our older boys and they have a new way to connect to me.

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