I’ve always enjoyed watching basketball, but I had not followed it closely until just a few years ago. I have some good friends who are Iowa State Cyclone fans, and they got me interested in enjoying games and following the team. Since then, I’ve also become an Iowa State fan—with apparel and everything (seems to be a barometer of dedication)!
Tonight the Iowa State Cyclones played in a Sweet Sixteen game at the United Center in Chicago. It was an exciting game to watch, although they eventually lost and their tournament run came to an end. I was once again grateful for a season of great basketball, with all its ups and downs along the way.
It’s fun to follow a team and cheer them on, but for me it becomes much more interesting as I learn about the players. When I recognize their names and hear about their accomplishments on and off the court, then they become real to me. Their personal stories become their team story. Almost always, their stories involve some big challenges and a great deal of heart. As they work together as a team, all those dynamics come into play and propel them ahead. Their fans become personally invested as well, cheering for them and supporting them in each part of their journey.
It was such fun to see all three Iowa teams advance in the tournament, but now that they have each been eliminated the focus will go to the other teams who continue to play. March Madness is a great time for those who love to watch great basketball as well as follow the stories that always come out along the way. I’m grateful to the friends who showed me what fun it is to be part of it and enjoy the ride!