Thursday, August 30, 2012

#109. or, Great things.

When I was younger, I imagined that I would be famous for something. Or in the very least, do something great. My dad did great things. He was a welder, a pilot, owned a construction company, farmed, and changed the direction of his life 2 or 3 times over the course of his time here. By that standard, I can't really say that I've accomplished a lot. I'm doing the same thing today that I started out doing.

  Last week my oldest son did something great.

  My oldest son plays basketball. Not professionally, but he has a passion for the game. He played in high school and was fortunate enough to go to Provincials on the team one year. He's been out of school for a bit now, but still has a hand in arranging charity alumni games at the school where he once played. Basketball has never, not been a part of his life.

  A couple weeks back, he was asked by an organization to play in a little game they were trying to put together. This little game was going to be a fund raiser to earn money so the hosting group could go to Mexico to build homes for the less fortunate.

  Except this wasn't such a little game. It was going to be the longest game in the world! EVER!
This is a link to the organization putting the game on.

 The previous official world record for the longest basketball game was 107 hours. Unofficially, it was 112 hours. The goal was for these teams to play 113 hours of basketball between the 19th to the 24th of August.

  On Sunday evening, August 19th, 21 guys and 3 young ladies began this gruelling task. Now, because the cost to have an official member of the Guinness organization actually be there to witness this whole affair would probably cost more than they might actually raise at this fundraiser, they had to tape the game. They also had to tape the score bench to make sure this was legitimately a competitive game. These tapes can then be sent to Guinness to have them decide if this is in fact an official record or an unofficial one.

  Unfortunately, because we were making hay (while the sun was shining) and the place they were playing was about an hour away, it was Wednesday before my wife and I could get there. The first thing I noticed when we walked in was the rather heavy smell of sweaty people hanging in the air. Around the outside of the gym, inflatable air mattresses lined the wall with scattered sleeping bags and shoes and cords to phone charges all over the place. One side of the gym had a couple of those 6 foot inflatable kiddie pools filled with cool water for the players to soak their feet.

  Wednesday was about the worst day for them. The first few days really tested them. One young fellow had already had to drop out from a bad ankle sprain. They looked exhausted. You could tell that one of the young ladies was hurting because every step she took while on the court caused her to grimace in pain. Trainers, massage therapists and medical staff all volunteered to help the kids get through any pains and muscle problems they were having.

  Fortunately after Wednesday, they sort of crossed a wall and just coasted along. By Friday at 1:00 PM when the game was ending, some of them were down to playing in socks, they couldn't wear their shoes anymore because they had too many blisters on their feet.  As the seconds counted down to zero, and the final whistle blew, balloons and streamers  fell onto the court, and everyone in the stands gave the players a standing ovation as the players hugged and congratulated each other. A lot of them had been strangers before this all started, but now they were all brothers and sisters, having lived, competed, hurt, and laughed together over the week.

That's my boy.

It's a little hard to see but this is the roster.

final score, blue 9508 white 9516

And because it was 5 days, somebody did some calculations.

 Here is a bit of a video on the game from the local paper. That's my kid shooting a 3 pointer at the 30 second mark and making another basket right at the end.

  After the game, one of the organizers said to the players that from now on, for the rest of their lives, they can never say they can't do something. Over the course of that week, they had overcome any pains and thoughts of quitting, to accomplish something that had never been done before in the history of the world. That's a pretty big thing. A great thing.

  I can't say that I've ever done anything great over the course of my life. But maybe, getting married to my wonderful wife and having kids who volunteer to do things like this is close enough to greatness for me.


  1. What a great post and what a great group of athletes. You can't see me but, I am giving them a *Standing Ovation*


  2. I thought you were kidding--it sounded like an exaggeration. Congratulations to him! Awesome.

    1. It does seem like an exaggeration. If it ends up being a record or not doesn't really matter, what they did was pretty cool.

  3. How exciting! Your son is a great kid (no surprise!) for being part of such a thing. I can't even imagine how tough it must have been for all of them! I'm so glad you did a post on it. I saw you tweet about the world's longest bball game, but I had not idea it was something like this. Very impressive!

    1. Thanks, I wish they would have gotten a little more exposure from the surrounding area but it was still really something. :)

  4. Wow, I'm exhausted just reading this! Kudos to everyone who took part. It takes someone kinda special to do something like that. Well done to all involved. :D

    1. Sometimes, you don't really expect a group of kids to be committed enough to pull something like this off. It was really impressive to watch them play though all their aches and pains.

  5. Wow. I'm impressed. That's a lot of effort. I know what it's like to go without sleep and have have very sore feet at the same time. That is a very impressive achievement.

    1. I noticed that one young lady. She changed shoes a couple time during the evening when we were there. I found out later she also had some sort of groin sprain. It was obvious every time she ran up or down the court that she was hurting. Yet when she caught up to the group, she was all smiles. She impressed me.

  6. INCREDIBLE!!!! What a great kid you raised, Ken!

  7. Couple of things: You HAVE done great things.
    1) Keep a family farm going when so many sell them off for the money.
    2) Found your 'keeper' of a wife!
    3) Raise some INCREDIBLE kids. This is obvious.
    4) Begin writing and find a gem of a talent.

    Also remember, you're still young!! There is so much more life left to live!! :) Who knows what's in store?

    Congrats to your son an a selfless act of courage and endurance!

    1. Hello, my friend!

      Thanks for this. I'm so very proud of the things that I have been able to do. I shouldn't look at the things that I haven't done. You're right, I have plenty of life left in me. How knows what's around the corner. :0

      I'll let my son know you were thinking of him.

    2. oops....that was supposed to be happy emoticon :)
      not surprised :0