The Living Water Storm is a unique basketball team, because it fits into the philosophy of the school where students should be able to live free to follow their heart and passion. In a typical school when there are basketball tryouts and you don’t make the team, it just ends there. You don’t make the team. But what if a student really wants to learn and be part of a sports community? What if intramural is not enough and they really waJenn Simmons (it’s not letting me tag you) and Coach Duane McKinney allows any student who wants to play on the team to join, BUT those who may not have the skills to play competitively, join the developmental track. They come to practice, they are taught the skills of basketball, they get the uniform, they come to games, and they are part of the community even if they don’t play. Those who are developing also function as team managers during games. This is explained to parents so that when they come to games, they are not mad because their child is on the bench. I join the coaches when we have the meetings to help explain to parents when their child didn’t make the competitive team. The meeting is to encourage the student and the parents during what is normally a difficult decision to accept. They understand that to play competitively they have to learn the sport. It shows them that they are not entitled to play just because they want to. They have to WORK and LEARN. The coaches even may allow a developing player to play sometimes at certain times if it’s not a critical point in the game and they are showing signs of growth (but this is not guaranteed). They also work with all players to develop Godly character. If a student wants to play basketball, or any sport or has any dream, we should never crush those dreams, we have to support that and let them learn for themselves whether or not they have what it takes. Anything is possible. With God, anything is possible. As adults, God has placed us in the lives of young people to help them reach the dreams that God placed in their hearts and to provide the loving and nurturing environment to make it happen. The Living Water School is ALWAYS seeking to do schooling in a totally new way. Schooling traumatized me as a child. I will fight for it to be a better experience for any child who is part of our community. It took a while for Duane to convince me to do sports because I don’t want to create a culture in school that often creates bullying and feelings of inferiority. At the LW School, we go to the games, the athletes love on those that society think are the “nerds.” We are all just FAMILY. We try to create an equitable space for all students. It is not easy, but we do fight for it as a community. It’s not too late to join our team(or our school!) either this year or in the future, because the STORM is passing over!!
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1Pauline Fletcher Magnússon