And a Happy Friday to you out there, unless you’re a government employee who’s about to go on an unplanned and unpaid vacation because our Idiot-in-Chief has no clue on what he wants, so Washington D.C. comes to a halt and we have a government shutdown.
First up today, college basketball players get a bad rap these days for not giving a fig about school, and only using the university they attend as a “way station” to the NBA.
But the reality is, nearly every NCAA Division I player won’t make it to the pros, and many of them really do care about their university, and realize how big a role it plays in their lives.
One of those who did make the NBA, but didn’t forget where he came from, is Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry. Lowry made a splash this week in a great way, announcing he’s donating $1 million to Villanova University, where he grew up and learned so much.
Lowry’s story, told beautifully here by The Athletic’s Dana O’Neil, is of a hard-headed, sullen kid who came to college and four years later, left a very different man.
“They always accepted me. They all wanted me to do well,’’ Lowry says. “Yeah, I took advantage of it, but they helped me figure out how to do it.’’
Really great story here.
**Next up today, I found this next story fascinating, and hopeful. We all know teachers and principals have been giving out detentions and suspensions forever, and whether they work or not is always up for debate.
An inner-city elementary school in Baltimore named Robert W. Coleman has been trying something different: Not suspensions, but sending kids to a “Meditation Room,” where they learn to breathe and relax and not stress so much.
It’s part of a partnership with the Holistic Life Foundation, a Baltimore non-profit. Does it work? Well, there have been ZERO suspensions at Coleman this year, so that certainly seems to be a good number.
Read the story here about other ways meditation is helping these students.
**And finally today, a beautiful story from Joe Posnanski, about his daughter, turning 16, and the fear of a driver’s license test. I think we can all relate to the terror of sitting there at the DMV, waiting for your instructor to call your name, and then hoping to hell you can finally pull off a solid parallel park. (2nd-best parallel park of my life happened on my road test; it was a freaking miracle.)
Posnanski is never better than when he’s writing about his family, and this column is just sensational.
Here’s the lede:
She is so scared. I can always tell when she’s scared; she has this look on her face, and it’s not so different from the look she had when she was three years old and we were walking through Times Square, and the crowd was overwhelming her. I reached down then and picked her up and slowly the fear drained from her face. She was happy again. I cannot pick her up now. She stares at the monitor, the one that shows who will be called next. D113. C149. E228.
I look at her card again. It is A102.
It’s a wonderful tale that we all can relate to. Have a great weekend. Oh, and I’m picking the Vikings and Patriots to meet in the Super Bowl.