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.