The young men were jumping and the air was filled with the sounds of joy. As their feet left the ground, braids, twists, and dreads were suspended mid-air for just a second. Toothy smiles adorned every face. Their eyes were wide with excitement. They moved in unison. Shoulder to shoulder, a band of brothers celebrating life’s latest gift. I stood there reveling in the moment. The Imani boys’ basketball team had just won the PIAA State Championship.
As I scanned their faces, I realized that each traveled a unique journey to arrive at this place and time. The young man who navigated through the foster care system. The immigrant child whose earliest years were spent in a refugee camp. The coach’s son who helped realize his father’s dream. The son whose mom works in a department store and whose father runs a cleaning business. The young man who simultaneously aspires to a career in sports and medicine.
My thoughts were interrupted as a cascade of water ran down the head and shoulders of Imani’s head coach. Unfazed, his smile, like that of his assistant coaches remained irrepressible. They too had travelled long roads to arrive at this destination. Their journeys had brought together a truck company entrepreneur, a community activist, a former professional player, and two alumni.
By God’s grace, all their roads led them to Imani Christian Academy, Giant Stadium, and now a state Championship.
I whispered a prayer of gratitude for the traveling mercies that He had extended and for the victory He had granted. I headed for the door with Philippians 4:13 echoing in my mind … for indeed, “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.”
Congratulations Imani Christian Academy Saints!