Half-Court Shots

Sometimes it seems like everyone in the world is competing with one another. Every individual person is stacked up against each other. Sometimes it feels like we're pretty alone even when we're in an arena full of people. I think particularly in our country we are raised to be individuals, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, suck it up and keep on keepin' on. There's a part of that that's really great. Our country is one of the few in which the way you grow up doesn't necessarily dictate the way the rest of your life will play out. I hope that's always the case.

But when you learn to separate yourself from others and compete for jobs, boyfriends, whatever they win on WipeOut...it's hard to feel like we're all on the same team.

Sometimes moments come along that remind us we actually are. On the same team, that is. The team being humanity and creations of the Most High God.

One event in particular exemplifies this sense of unity in a way I've rarely seen duplicated: the sunk half-court fan shot.


Half-court shots bring people together. I'm telling you.

You can have the fiercest of rivals packed into an arena together. The person on the court may be wearing colors you absolutely despise and refuse to dress your child in for fear they might rub off on him.

But the moment that ball is soaring through the air, perfectly in line with the basket, something starts to take over. You stand. Your heart flutters. Your jaw drops. You freeze for a split second and visualize it going in, as if that will help make it happen. You're...rooting for him, and you don't even know him.

Then suddenly: SWISH.

The entire crowd yells in victory with the stranger who just won tuition or pizza for life or money for his wife's hospital bills. Someone like YOU just made that near-impossible shot. It's incredible.

And for the smallest moment in time, no one is jealous.

No one hates that guy.

No one wishes they were at home watching Scrubs reruns.

Because something truly amazing just happened, and even though you had nothing to do with it, you were somehow a part of it.

So you cheer and jump and laugh and clap.


In that moment--you're all on the same team.

After a few minutes the excitement fades and you go back to hating your rival and complaining about the long line at the concession stand.

But for one split second, you were family.

That's why I love half-court shots.