Before the Final Game – March 16, 2012

You all know that last night we beat one of the best teams we have ever played – Amherst College. Just before the game, we hosted parents and fans at the 84th Street Grill in downtown Holland. Almost 75 people were in attendance, and that is saying something when you are travelling from Portland, Ore., to get to the game. As I was about to leave to go to the venue, we took a picture together and then Keisha’s father asked me to say a prayer for the group. I told them what I always want to do is ask God for victory, but I know his interests go far beyond a game. (We all agreed we wanted victory!) So we prayed for our players and our coaches. We prayed that they would honor Christ, that they would play hard and to their best ability, and that they would be safe from injury.

I hope you had a chance to watch the team because it was a beautiful game. I am old-fashioned so I prefer my basketball to have flow and beauty rather than have the form of a hockey game! Amherst had outstanding front-court play and hit threes like no other team we have played. In the final analysis, they could not stop our inside play and our all-American center, Hannah Munger, set a gymnasium record with 36 points and 12 rebounds. When it was tied 64 to 64 with less than two minutes to play, we were not sure we would prevail, but the women showed great composure and held on for a great victory.

I rarely go into the locker room after a game – in fact, this was the first time. The women were obviously happy, and Coach Meek asked Hannah to pray for the group. They gathered together in a circle, and Hannah thanked God that he had given them the opportunity to play. She thanked God for the victory, but more importantly, she asked that they continue to represent Christ well in everything they do. This team sees beyond the game and understands the importance of who they are and what they are ultimately called to do – to be representatives of Christ to the world. That prayer time was a powerful moment.

Coach Meek reminded the team that as great as the victory was over the nation’s No. 1 team, they came to play for the championship. One more to go, and that happens tonight at 7 p.m. I hope you are glued to your computer to watch! Go Bruins.

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