This past week marked the final week of the 2014 “Live-It” Basketball program. The program is sponsored by Quincy's Thomas Memorial Baptist Church. The past week was filled with plenty of fun and an unexpected surprise for those in attendance Tuesday night.
So you are thinking, what was the surprise? Running back Karlos Williams, Sr., a member of the national champion Florida State football team, was at the gym to watch his buddy Mark Faircloth's Live-It basketball game. Karlos was invited to half court to sit in on the halftime devotional that is given at every Live-It game. Karlos was gracious enough to not only speak to the players but also gathered them around for a photo at half court.
The Live-It staff greatly appreciated Karlos giving of his time to interact with the youngsters and whether they were Seminole fans or not all of the kids enjoyed his giving of his time to talk with them and to sign a few autographs.
The week and the season finale for Live-It Basketball was Saturday night’s banquet. This year’s guest speaker was Pastor Len Harr from Antioch Baptist Church. The theme of his message to those in attendance was about how it’s the parents’ responsibility to make sure that their children hear the Word of God not only at church but also at home. Reverend Harr went on to stress how things have progressively gone lacking in past generations and maybe it's time to get back on track in our nation.
Next, Westley Bruner, the person Thomas Memorial likes to call the face of Live-It Basketball, its coordinator and TMBC's student minister, invited Don Morris to come up front to thank the volunteers of Live-It. Without the volunteers this program could not succeed or survive.
First and foremost are the men and women who volunteer their time to coach the boys and girls who play the game. Coaches, thank you! Next is an announcer to introduce the players before each game. To the “Voice of Live-It Basketball,” Bobby Owens, thank you! To the concession stand crew, Jennifer Hughes, her daughters, Gary Dawson, his daughters, Maria Young, Carey Abney and the youth of TMBC, thank you!
The game officials, Marius Mapp, Sterling Abney, Westley Bruner and Don Morris, thank you! Sean Hughes, our score keeper/time keeper, thank you! To Live-It's “Jack of all Trades” and player introduction cheerleader David Hughes, thank you. You make the games fun.
Last but certainly not least, parents, grandparents and fans, thank you!
Now came the time where every player and coach was recognized and given a trophy of appreciation. That was followed by the Inspiration Award presentation. This award recognizes an individual, or family, who has overcome something or showed dedication to the program or their team. This year’s recipient broke his leg just before the season started but still came to all the practices and games to participate with his teammates. At first he came in a wheelchair, then in a cast. Even with this obstacle, with the help of his coaches and teammates, and of course with his parents’ permission, he was able to participate on offense in five games this season.
This year’s Inspiration Award recipient was Jon Daniel Gay. Congratulations, Jon Daniel.
Next came the final award of the night, the presentation of the Sportsmanship Award. This award is given to the individual that is in his or her final year of eligibility to play Live-It Basketball who has shown an exemplary character throughout his or her Live-It Basketball career. The qualities expressed in the play of this individual are qualities that reflect the life of Jesus Christ.
The Live-It Basketball organizers want this award, which is the game ball from the previous year, to be a reminder that we are to “Live It” on and off the court. The Live-It Basketball Sportsmanship Award bears the name of Live-It’s founder, former Thomas Memorial youth minister and Quincy native Doug Hemanes.
Sportsmanship winner Drew Potter with Westley Bruner, TMBC Student Minister.
This year’s recipient was Drew Potter. Congratulations, Drew. Drew and the other eight 5th graders that concluded their Live-It eligibility will be in our hearts and prayers as they move on from their Live-It experience.
Westley Bruner concluded the festivities in prayer and thanked all in attendance for helping make the 2014 Live-It season a success.