Heroes are all around us, if we know where to look. In the past year and a half, many of us have revised our definition of what is means to be a real hero. In the midst of a pandemic, perhaps we have a bit more appreciation for the members of our first responder community, doctors and nurses…and the ones who have shown up for us in our greatest hour of need. If we open up our eyes and truly listen to the people around us, we will find them heroes unexpected places.

Recently, I met a 81 years young basketball player, who quickly became a personal hero, after listening to him for just around five minutes. This senior hoopster was talking to me about the origin of the senior hoops club that I was visiting. I had been invited to participate that night up by a friend, and I had no idea what to expect, as part of a group of 50+ guys who shared one main thing in common…a passion for the sport.

As one of the founding members, almost 20 years ago, he shared a story of how he was involved in a disagreement with one of the other original participants. Their difference of opinion was related to how exclusive the “hoops club” would be. He seemed rather proud of the fact that he had won over the rest of the crowd back then…reminding them that the game of basketball…much like music and food…was something that brought ALL of us together…his smile said it all…and I had found a new personal hero.

The fact that he is black and I am white…irrelevant. The fact that we still enjoy a friendly game of hoops…an instant bond of friendship. Heroes come in ALL colors.

Get back in the game…STAY in the game #NCseniorgames.org