For quite a while now, probably since my Sophomore year of college, I (jason) have been worried about how much time I spend (watching, playing, reading about, etc) sports. Well, good news everyone, all that wasted time is now starting to pay off.
My closest friend in the area was made through sports. Last year, during the NBA playoffs, I would go over to his house at 3 or 4 in the morning 2 or 3 times a week to watch the Spurs play, we are also in a Fantasy Basketball league and still watch a lot of sports at his place. Our friendship has also given us the opportunity to work together on ministry opportunities and he has been a good source of encouragement and challenge to me during my time here.
For the last four months, I have been playing basketball for Thaqafee Beit Sahour sports club. I'm on a team of about 10 other guys, mostly younger than me. We practice twice a week and play games every once in a long while. It's been quite an experience, and an opportunity to make friends, learn Arabic, and get some exercise.
As of last week, I am the head coach for a brand-new basketball team at the Hope School in Beit Jala. The school used to have a basketball program, but it has not existed for a least a few years. We have had about 3 practices now, and I know that I am in for quite an experience. Between their inexperience and my very rough Arabic, each practice is like a new episode in a slapstick comedy. Seriously, I think I could post videos of the entire two-hour practice and people would watch just for the laughs. But I’m not going to do that. I do, however, expect big things out of these guys, and I think coaching this team will help me grow in a lot of ways as well.
I guess I didn’t waste all that time after all . . .