Along with Noah and Dad, we paid a visit to the Manchester Millrats of the Premier Basketball League tonight for their game against the Quebec Kebs. The team’s general manager, Ian McCarthy, had invited me to take a few shots at halftime on Veterans and Military Night, so there I was, saying a few words about Hoops For Heroes, standing at the foul line and …
Look up “choke” in the dictionary, and there’s a picture of me in my Millrats T-shirt, standing on that foul line at Southern New Hampshire University with Bryan Adams’s “Summer of ’69” playing in the background. Dave Bonner, dad of Becky (Louisville director of basketball operations), Matt (San Antonio Spurs) and Luke (Millrats center) rebounding on one side of the lane, and Army Veteran Shawn Porter, who volunteered from the audience, on the other.
And me, mouth chalk-dry and nerves of whatever the opposite of steel is, trying to do what had seemed so easy just a few hours before with just Dana and Randy in the gym.
Wow. Gonna have to work on that.
After the first 10, I suppose, it wasn’t that bad. Got into a little rhythm and we somehow managed to get to 50 just as the teams were making their way back to the court (wouldn’t that have been embarrassing if they’d been forced to hold up the game … wasn’t too far from that, I think). That, by the way, puts us at 97,257 down, 902,743 to go to 1 million.
Other than the foul shooting ineptitude, it was a great night. The Millrats won big, and Noah got to meet Luke Bonner of Concord, the Millrats new center, and his Dad, Dave Bonner. Dave, in fact, bought Noah ten 50/50 raffle tickets, which Noah was selling (the Millrats gave Hoops For Heroes the proceeds), and get this … Noah won the dang thing. Fifty-one bucks. I asked if he planned to donate it to the cause. He said, “I think I’ll donate it to Game Stop’s cause.” Can’t say that I blame him.
So that’s it. Thanks, Dave Bonner and Shawn Porter. Thanks Luke. And thanks, Millrats, for the donation and for what Noah called “the best night ever.”
That’s good enough for me.