The best thing I saw from last week’s opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament was a postgame press conference from Kansas State head coach, Jerome Tang.
He said, “My profession is coaching, but my calling and my passion is ministry. And I love being able to spend time around all these young men and just help them to grow and become great husbands who’ll be great fathers and leaders in their community. It’s just so much fun to do it through the game of basketball…“
This is the difference between doing your job and living on mission.
There’s always a deeper purpose. Potential to live out a higher calling. But it’s difficult to go beyond the headlines or the bottom line or the final score.
One year ago, Tang accepted the Kansas State job. Only two players returned, and they were picked to finish last in the Big 12 conference. This season, they’re led by a 5’8” point guard (one of the holdovers) and a transfer guard who was told he’d never play again after collapsing on the court two years ago. This year, Tang’s first as a head coach, saw them win over 20 games. They finished 3rd in their conference and are now in the Sweet 16.
I have a sense the stage of the NCAA Tournament doesn’t seem so intimidating to Tang and his team.
A basketball game isn’t the end game. There’s something beyond that’s much bigger. Basketball is just the avenue – to build relationships, develop skills, and change lives.
Something to think about: What everyone else glorifies is likely NOT what’s most important.
Something to ask yourself: What am I working on or building that doesn’t have an expiration date?
Enjoy the madness!