RSS

Monthly Archives: February 2010

February 28: Apres-ski 1,000

Moments after the above photo was taken at Ragged Mountain in Danbury, NH, today, we decided to take a different route down the mountain.  Moments after that, Mason found the upper steeps of another black diamond, and bounce-bounce-bounced about 40 feet on his back before coming to a rest with no skis attached.  Moments after that, we climbed out of that trail and took another route down the mountain.  Moments after that, I watched from about 200 feet up the hill as he disappeared into a section of powder that took his legs out from under him, robbed him of his skis, and transformed him into, well, this …

Moments after that, Mason had taken his last run of the day and we were on the road.  Then we were home, and moments after that, I was shooting in the driveway … putting away 1,000 in a little more than an hour and 20 minutes.  Moments after that, I did the math and found that we have now made 157,807 foul shots and have 842,193 to go to 1 million.

For more on Hoops For Heroes, with a goal of 1 million made foul shots and $1 million raised for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, visit www.hoopsforheroes.com or contact Dave Cummings at 603-554-7855.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

February 27: 1,200 with Annette

I’m finding that whatever the weather conditions may be, if it’s not windy, being outside is a terrific way to go … particularly ever since I met “Annette,” a.k.a. the SKLZ Rapid Fire ball retrieval system, who waits for me devotedly in the driveway, day after day after day.

We spent 97 minutes together again today, in a snowstorm, and when it was all said and done there were 1,200 more free throws on the board, bringing the total to 156,807 down, 843,193 to go to 1 million made foul shots.

Thanks again, Annette.  You’re perfect for me.

For more on Hoops For Heroes, with a goal of 1 million made foul shots and $1 million raised for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, visit www.hoopsforheroes.com or contact Dave Cummings at 603-554-7855.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

February 26: 1,800 with Jesse Ander

That’s what I would call Southern California fast.

Jesse Ander, the Boston College law student by way of L.A. (that’s Los Angeles, not Lewiston-Auburn), came north from his pad in Newton tonight to join us for a two-hour rebounding session.  He first stopped in for Pizza Night, Boboli-style, and then it was on to the gym.

Jesse is a good dude, one who had heard about us on the NPR segment a month ago and immediately began brainstorming ways to get HFH to Boston College and in front of the Celtics.  Nothing yet, but a few seeds have been planted that we’re hoping will lead to some cool things down the road.

He’s smart, disciplined, and laid back … like you might expect from a kid who grew up in SoCal as the middle son of an architect dad and attorney mom.

That said, he can also zip a basketball back.  It was almost surprising to see the numbers pile up in two hours tonight, considering that super-casual thing he’s got going on.  He’s almost directly under the hoop.  He sticks a hand out, palm up.  The ball touches his hand, just for a moment, and then is redirected quickly, on a bounce, back into my hands.  Repeat.

For the first 20 minutes or so, I kind of stunk.  Then I was real good for a stretch.  Then I was OK.  So I guess you might say the shooting was a little erratic.  Jesse, meanwhile, was consistently quick.  Palm up, redirect, bounce, repeat.

We were almost exactly two hours deep when No. 1,800 dropped through, an substantial night in our march on to 1 million.  All totaled up, that’s 155,607 down, 844,393 to go.

Thanks Jesse, for the interest, the support, and tonight’s SoCal style.  Lakers fan or not, you’re welcome for Pizza Night any time.

For more on Hoops For Heroes, with a goal of 1 million made foul shots and $1 million raised for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, visit www.hoopsforheroes.com or contact Dave Cummings at 603-554-7855.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

February 25: 1,000 with Dad

Washout!

Had planned to shoot outside today, but big rain and bigger wind put a halt to that.  So Dad and I moseyed (seems like the right spelling, doesn’t it?) on down to the gym at around 7:30 and shot for an hour and a half, until 1,000 were in the books.

He did well to get through it, physically.  His back and leg are obviously hurting pretty badly, to the point that I don’t think he’ll be coming again any time soon unless there’s some dramatic improvement.  He’ll continue to insist he can play, so it may just be time for me to stop asking for awhile.

So that’s it.  It was, by necessity, a low key day compared to yesterday, but another small step toward the goal.  We’re now at 153,807 down, 846,193 to go to 1 million made foul shots.

For more on Hoops For Heroes, with a goal of 1 million made foul shots and $1 million raised for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, visit www.hoopsforheroes.com or contact Dave Cummings at 603-554-7855.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

February 24, 2010: 5,000 for Marc

As I was searching desperately for words which might begin to describe an almost indescribable day in Waterville Valley, an e-mail arrived from Mark Decoteau tonight.  Thirteen hours earlier, as we were readying to shoot in his son Marc’s memory at the Waterville Valley Recreation Department gym, he had met me at midcourt and handed me a dogtag, pictured below, with Marc’s image on one side and these words inscribed on the other:  “In loving memory, PFC Marc Paul Decoteau, 1/29/2010.”

Aside from proudly pointing out that his son had, in fact, been promoted from PFC to Specialist before his death, Mark wasn’t able to say much in what was an emotional moment, but he wanted to say more in his e-mail.  I’m taking the liberty to reprint part of it here, because it’s a message worth sharing about the quality of the men and women that we have on our country’s front line:

Our son served bravely and honorably, however, he isn’t unique among the men and women of our military.  Many others in uniform right now would exchange places with him without hesitation.  Not because they want to die, but if they could protect their fellow soldiers or defend our country even at the cost of their life they would do so.  Thank you for making Marc a part of your tribute — but let him be a representative for his fellow brothers and sisters in arms.

Beautifully said, Mark.  Thank you.

Heather and I, toting along Things 1, 2 and 3, had met Mark and his wife Nancy, along with our friends Chris and Tiffany Hodges, the night before, at the Coyote Grill, right there in the village of Waterville Valley.  Mark is the town manager, Chris the director of public safety and fire chief.

Mark and Nancy could not have been warmer, laughing at our stories and telling those of their own, many of them revolving around Marc and his two siblings, Andrew and Maddie.  They engaged our kids, particularly Mason, who was their neighbor at that end of the table.  It was more than just comfortable.  It was genuinely fun.  I was thrilled to hear they were planning to be at the gym when we began on Wednesday morning.

So after a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast from the Waterville Valley Coffee Emporium, we began shooting shortly after 9 a.m., and there were Mark and Nancy under the basket, along with two easel-sized photos of Marc — one playing lacrosse and another playing football.  Chris, who along with Tiffany has been one of HFH’s greatest supporters, started next to me at the foul line, and away we went.

Here’s the point at which I have got to give Mason his due for saving the day in terms of video documentation.  We were rolling along at 406 … 407 … 408 … when his voice popped up from my left:  “Dad, am I supposed to be able to see you in the camera, or is it supposed to be black.”

I thought he was kidding, but he wasn’t.  The bad news, as it turns out, is that the camera missed 57 shots.  The good news is that had Mason not checked, it could have been closer to 4,700.  So again … thanks, buddy.

We restarted, continuing with two balls, and we started to really fly.  I have to say, this was not my best shooting effort, percentage-wise, but it’s amazing to see what can happen when you get a bunch of folks similarly inspired, as we all were today by the memory of a real American hero.  I may not have been particularly fast, but everyone else was.

Before we were done, 17 rebounders had cycled through.  In addition to Mark, Nancy and Chris, in no particular order, here’s who lent a hand:  Tiffany Hodges, Drew Hodges, Kyle Hodges, Kara Bean, Seth Bean, Rachel Gasowski, Jeremy Gasowski, Liz Greene, Tom Quackenbush, Tim Kingston, Dave Noyes, Jeff Dropkin, Ian McKinnon, and Andrew Decoteau, who joined his parents for the last 200.

It was just about right at 1 p.m. when No. 5,000 dropped through the net, bringing us over the 15 percent mark overall at 152,807 down, 847,193 to go to 1 million made foul shots.  We all stuck around for a few team photos, then made our way to the welcome table near the entrance to the gym, where I learned that the amazing folks at Waterville Valley had raised $1,000 for the cause.

Among those donors, as I might have expected, were Mark and Nancy Decoteau.  We shared a few more words, vowed to get together again, and then they left, but not before saying goodbye to the kids.  “See you, Rosie.  Bye, Mason.  Bye, Noah.”  It was a small thing, but they had met our kids just once, and they remembered their names.  It made me smile.

It also reminded me of our earlier conversation at midcourt.  Mark hadn’t said many words at the time, but he had said a lot.

“Keep Marc with you,” he told me as I draped the dogtag over my neck.  “You can return it when you get to a million.”

It’s a promise.

For more on Hoops For Heroes, with a goal of 1 million made foul shots and $1 million raised for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, visit www.hoopsforheroes.com or contact Dave Cummings at 603-554-7855.
 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Feb. 23: 1,000 more in the driveway

A morning 1,000, and we’re off to Waterville Valley, at 147,807 down, 852,193 to go to 1 million made foul shots.

For more on Hoops For Heroes, visit www.hoopsforheroes.com or contact Dave Cummings at 603-554-7855.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Feb. 22: 1,000, and a YouTube challenge

It was a pretty nice February night here in Epsom — 30-ish degrees with very little wind — which made it a perfect evening to get back into the driveway and give “Annette,” our ball-getting net professionally known as SKLZ Rapid Fire, another spin.

The lack of wind certainly helps things along.  We were able to fly through 1,000 in just a hair under an hour and 20 minutes, which really leads me to be optimistic about how often we’ll be shooting in the driveway once springs finds us.

The only real point of interest from tonight: I tinkered with the camera settings to allow for what I thought was going to be better viewing of a nighttime experience, but somehow it came out a little ghostly and choppy.  Once we’ve figured out the issues that are delaying the uploads of video to hoopsforheroesvideo.com, anyone who’s interested will have to have a little faith that what they’re seeing and what I’m counting do, in fact, add up to another 1,000.

And speaking of video, a guy by the name of Curt Dalton heard Hoops For Heroes on the recent NPR profile, and took it upon himself to create the three-minute YouTube video embedded above — a plea for help on behalf of HFH, and a pretty exciting challenge.  Check it out, and please pass it on.

We’re fast approaching 15 percent … now at 146,807 down, 853,193 to go to 1 million made foul shots.

For more on Hoops For Heroes, visit www.hoopsforheroes.com or contact Dave Cummings at 603-554-7855.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.