It Only Takes One - Greg Schell's Story

Greg Schells Story Greg Schell
League Director
First United Methodist Church, Allen, TX

We implemented playoffs for our 4th-6th grade division for the first time this season. In one of our semifinal games, the score was tied, and a young girl was fouled as time expired. She was awarded a "1-and-1" with 0.1 seconds on the clock (since the other team had committed enough fouls to put them into the bonus even though it was a non-shooting foul); ultimately she had to make the first free-throw to win the game, since there would be no 2nd shot if she missed. 

She wasn’t one of the star players or high scorers on the team and had only hit a couple of baskets all season. Our referees walked over to me and asked for a reminder and clarification on our overtime procedures just in case, but I just smiled and said: "It doesn't matter, she's going to hit the free throw". 

Sure enough, she made the shot, and BOTH teams' parents and fans erupted in cheers. Her father stormed the court to hug her while her mother stood speechless and crying on the sideline. It was a remarkable moment in that young athlete's life, and everyone there felt blessed to be a part of it.

To add to the story, after the game the winning team discovered that, as a result of Spring Break timing, they were only going to have three players make it to the next night's championship game…so they forfeited their spot to the team that lost on the free-throw. That team went on to win the championship! The whole evening just epitomized what makes Upward Sports the best youth basketball league in the world. Kids with amazing opportunities to shine, and parents/coaches/leaders doing the right thing. God is good.