“MADISON GET IN HERE!” My dad shouts from the other end of the house. I almost drop my computer in my haste to get from my secluded office to the living room, where he was watching the final game of March Madness: Stanford versus Arizona. Arizona had just upset UConn, who had been favorites to win this year, and Stanford had only scrapped its way into the final game. This was going to be fun (and fun it was).
With the conclusion of the tournament, an exciting series of games to be sure, I made an important realization: my father, who has steadfastly supported me throughout my “sports career” of middle and now high school, started watching women’s college basketball not only because of me, but for me. His extreme enthusiasm during the recent games has left me in awe of how lucky I am to have a dad who so thoroughly supports me and makes the effort to be interested in the things that I do. At this point, I think he may even have watched more basketball than me. He knows every coach’s name and their best players’ strengths and weaknesses, talks about basketball constantly, and does his best to annoy my mom with game predictions.
I am coming to realize that his support is what has encouraged me to pursue sports on a higher level, and what has given me the confidence to go out and do what I am passionate about. His love makes me feel seen, even when I’m having an off day or feel like I am struggling to hit my shots. It makes me feel seen, because I know that he is paying attention to the little things, and I will be forever grateful.