During my college years at K-State, the guys I hung out with were all former very good high school basketball players. The guys were from Lyons, Topeka, Dighton, Scott City, Parsons and Shawnee Mission South as I recall. That guy from SM South was recruited by every college in the state to come play basketball out of high school.
They were all forwards and post players who were just awesome basketball players and I was a bench warmer in high school. They would come get me and tell me they needed a guard to distribute the ball to them. So I would go with them, just because I loved to watch them, once they got the ball in their hands.
Now this was in the days before Bramlage Coliseum and before K-State had the new Recreation building (Chester Peters building). All we had was Ahearn Fieldhouse upper and lower gyms. Every basketball goal had a half court basketball game going on, every night of the week except on Wildcat game nights during basketball season. The only court and goals that were allowed to be full court was the main court floor in Ahearn where the Cats played.
To get some court time, you had to challenge the team who won the last game at that particular goal. That meant you sat and waited until it was your turn to play and challenge. You could go anywhere in the building, but all the goals had games going on and a challenger waiting to play.
My group of guys only wanted to play in one place in Ahearn and that was the main court floor where we could play full court. The only problem was the main court was ruled by the K-State football players. The football players, who played on center court, were also former very good high school basketball players. I don’t remember any team ever beating them, but we kept trying.
Being lazy college kids we always played a zone defense. The over aggressive football players always played man to man defense, which we used against them with back door plays.
One night I crossed half court quickly with the ball. My defender, who I had just got a step or two on him, was just too my left and behind me a little. As we approached the top of the key, my teammates saw what had happened and they all four broke to the outside at once. Their defenders all followed, so I went right down the lane for what I thought would be an uncontested lay-up. About the time I released the ball, a defender, who was guarding the post player to my left, on the baseline ran back into the lane and jumped and blocked my shot just before it touched the backboard at about eleven feet off the ground.
The shot blocking defender and myself landed on our feet just to the right of the basket in the lane. The defender immediately put two hands to my chest and shoved me out of the lane and yelled at me, “Get the Weak Stuff out of Here!”
The moment that it happened, I was not angry, I was just amazed at how quickly he got to the spot, how high he jumped and I had a new appreciation of how athletic these K-State football players were. But also over the years I have thought about a Bible scripture that seems to fit the situation well.
Hebrews 4: 15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
We are weak, but we must approach the throne of grace boldly.