"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Be Grateful.

A few Japanese teammates and I had an event at a temporary housing complex in Sendai, Japan where people now live who lost their homes in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It was a very eye-opening experience and I was happy to be involved. It basically looked like a trailer park with rows of small homes set up (see below). We came to meet the people, sign autographs, take pictures, and give the families winter mittens. The 89ers cheerleaders also came to lead the people in stretching, because I was told that it is good for the older citizens to stay active. There was a bunch of media there to cover the event, and we presented the residents with some autographed memorabilia. I was pleased to see that everyone was very happy and upbeat. Frankly, I was impressed by them. I admired their strength to continue on with their life and be so positive. These people have lost everything, some of them even lost family members. But, they were all smiling, laughing, and so appreciative of us. I cannot imagine the heartache they have experienced in the past year. Their homes were literally washed away by the tsunami, and some of them were literally running for their lives. Families lost parents, spouses, children, siblings, etc... Yet, every single person I met stood tall, shook my hand graciously, and thanked me profusely simply for taking the time to visit them. They seemed so grateful. Once we were finished, I left with one thought. I am lucky. I left feeling very grateful for everything and everyone in my life, because I have a lot to be thankful for. We all do. I am lucky to be paid to play a game that I love. Playing basketball on three continents has been a blessing, but it is just a game in the end. Life is much bigger than basketball. I am grateful for all that I have, and basketball has helped me realize that.


Kelly said...

Nice, Dan. You continue to make MU proud!

Anonymous said...

Great job at living the MU mission years after you graduated. You deserve everything that you've received and I wish you the best in your future endeavors.