Unless you’re a person like George Washington, Thomas Edison, Ludwig van Beethoven or someone else who’s given something to the world that will never be forgotten, your legacy is your kids. Chances are you did your own thing for a while (longer for some of us than others) and then decided to settle down and do what your parents had been bugging you about. Which included having kids.
I fit into that category, but was one of those who started settling down late. I waited to get married until I was almost 39. My wife, Jane, and I had two boys. We never really thought about what we’d do when they grew up because we got so used to having them around. Andy was the first to leave, attending UC-Irvine and graduating with a BA in four years. As if that wasn’t amazing enough, he immediately found employment, albeit as a salesman whose job description contained a good deal of cold calling. This meant walking past “No Soliciting” signs on many occasions and getting cursed out often by owners (once, in front of the guy’s five-year-old son).
The greatest aspect of that gig, though, turned out to be its training – which helped Andy with his current job as Sales Executive at a company named Booker which sells software, mainly to spas, health clubs, etc. Keep in mind, what I know about technology can be put on the head of a pin – with a little room left over. But the fact that I have a 24-year-old who’s living on his own (in Orange County), has a good paying job (with benefits and commissions), is debt-free (we followed wise advice and started early but he’s been smart too) absolutely thrills me no end. He’s active in his fraternity (SAE), loves golf (which I wish I’d taken up earlier) and is living the dream.
Alex came along five years later and early on, it was evident that he had exceptional hand/eye coordination. My last coaching job was at the high school level so understand I’m aware that parents think highly of their kids’ athletic prowess. Alex, however, does have the numbers – and the awards – to back up my beliefs. He finished his high school career as the all-time leading scorer in the history of, not only his high school (Buchanan) but the entire Clovis Unified School District. For that matter, he scored more than anybody who ever played in the Fresno Unified School District. He finished as the sixth leading scorer in the history of the San Joaquin Valley.
Many thought he’d wind up at a Division I institution – including several scouts and professional coaches – but, while he had some D-I interest, at none of those schools did he feel comfortable. He played very well during an April evaluation period and was contacted immediately by Cal State Monterey Bay. An official visit followed that next weekend and he found a match. His play this year was good enough (he averaged 13.4 ppg) for him to be named Freshman of the Year in the conference (he finished 6th in the league in total points scored) and, just yesterday, received notification that he was named to the Division II Bulletin All-Freshman team, the only player from the West region to be so named. He is the first Monterey Bay player to receive that distinction.
I know all of this sounds like I might throw out my shoulder patting myself on the back so hard, but as Satchel Paige once said:
“It ain’t braggin’ if you kin do it.”