When An NBA Player Got To Meet ME

June 14, 2012

There are pitfalls to serving as a youth monster.  Besides the typical pizza overloads and toilet paper mishaps in my yard, I once blew my ACL playing basketball as I was serving a church in Charlotte, North Carolina.   The doc said he could fix my knee but surgery was required.  After my surgery, my doctor said that I needed to go to rehabilitation with my knee.

At the time, I was in a Bible study with Chip Sigmond, the strength coach for NBA’s (then) Charlotte Hornets.  As Chip and I were talking about my rehab, he offered to help me get my knee back in shape.  I was pretty pumped.

When we got started with the rehabbing, Chip normally met me at the local gym but one  day he said, “Eddie, I’m slammed today.  Do you mind driving over to the Hornets training facility and letting me work with you there?”

I held my excitement in and responded something like, “Yes.  I think I can probably make it over there.”  The truth is, I was not only ok with that.  I couldn’t wait to get there and let him inflict pain on my knee.  I had never been inside a pro sports facility before.  Heck, I would have blown my knee out before then if I’d known I’d have gotten this opportunity.  (Not really).

Upon entering the facility, we went straight to the weight room and Chip began working me out.  I was about half way through the workout when Hersey Hawkins, the Hornet’s point guard, came into the room.  He glanced over at us for a few seconds like he was going to say something and then went about his business.  I thought it would be cool to meet him but kept my poker face.  I acted like it was no big deal to see one of the most famous athletes in the NBA at that time.

Chip spoke to Hersey and kept working me out.  After about ten minutes, Hersey looked over at us and walked to where we were.  He looked like he may have been a bit embarrased or maybe even irritated.   He looked at me and asked Chip, “Who is this?”

Chip looked a bit reluctant at that moment, maybe even a bit embarrased too that he had brought an “intruder” into the gym.  Chip then said, “Sorry Hersey.  I didn’t want to bother you.”  Hersey smiled and then responded, “Bother me?  I WANT TO MEET HIM!!”  Hersey smiled again and stuck out his hand to me.

I’ve always thought that was really cool.  Hersey acted like I was the most important person in the world and he was honored to meet ME.  He made me feel like it was the best day of HIS life because he GOT to meet me.  He humbled himself.  No wonder he went on to win the NBA sportsmanship award in his final year in the NBA.

I was reminded of this story this morning when I read Philippians 2:3:  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others as more important than yourself.”

Sometimes we have to get off of our high horse and realize that we’re not the center of the universe.  It’s not about you.  It’s not about me.  It’s about Him and it’s about the work that we have to do in the few short years that we’re here on Earth.  That’s it!

Hersey went out of his way to humble himself and reach out to me.  I hope that I always remember his example.

There is not one person that you will look in the eye today that Jesus Christ did not die for.  Every person that you see today is important and EVERY PERSON matters to God.  Do they matter to you?  Do they matter to me?

Let’s examine our motives and ask God to help us see people how He sees them.  Let’s serve others like THEY are the most important person in the world.

Remember:  “If you do it to the least of these….”  You know the rest.


2 Responses to “When An NBA Player Got To Meet ME”

  1. Love your take on life.

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