It had been a long time coming. We dreamt of this moment. We talked about this moment. However, what I think was most important is that we worked for this moment. A few days ago, as I took the court for what for some was a routine regular season game here in New Zealand, for me it was a commemoration of some sort. A culmination of a lot of different elements and most of all, God willing, a glimpse of more to come.
To this point you’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. A few days ago I was able to be on the same court, on a professional level, with one of my brothers and best friends Chris Hagan. Now for some this may seem as not that much of an accomplishment but for me it said a lot. It said a lot because this was something we talked about and planned for about eight years ago when we first met and became friends.
Ever since we became friends, Chris and I have worked out together, pushing each other to be better every day. The summer preceding my freshman year at Rice, it was all in preparation for that opportunity to play together. A couple of games into that season Chris had a devastating season ending injury so we never really flourished on the court together. So from then on it was rehab and working out in preparation for the next season because that would finally be our opportunity. Then life happened and Chris transferred from Rice. That was tough but we still had hope.
Even though Chris was at a different school, we still spent our summers working out together, critiquing each other, and pushing ourselves to be better. Then we turned pro. We even had the same agent, and the conversation never stopped, we even got our agent on it. All in the hopes that we might finally have the opportunity to play on the same team once again. We held out for that on several occasions and it never materialized.
As time went on, neither of us seemed to let go of the idea or dream that we would someday, somehow, or someway be on the same court together on a professional stage. Well on April 26, 2015 that day came to pass. It is still on some level surreal to me but it was one helluvan experience. It was the first time we had been on the court in some official capacity since the fall of 2007 and I enjoyed every moment of it.
Being that we are both highly competitive individuals, I was trying to kill him out there and I don’t think he would have had it any other way. During my teams preparation leading up the game, I was giving spy tips to my teammates on all the tricks he had in his bag. What he liked to do and what he didn’t like to do to make sure we stop him. Even though my team came out victorious, it was great to play against my brother like that. Leading up to the game we had a chance to catch up and all the conversation seemed to boil down to was the several times and instances where we talked about how it would be when we get on the court together.
I believe, the lesson to be learned here, the moral of the story, and what I think might be lost in all these sentiments and emotions, is that when you stay focused on the goal ahead and work towards it, all that’s left is for it to happen. More importantly everyones path is different. Chris and I took two very different paths through this journey. He came to Rice and left, I came to Rice and stayed. He played in New Zealand for two seasons while I was on the other side of the world doing my own thing. We’ve both had our own personal trials and tribulations during the journey but some how someway, staying focused and working hard through it all we still ended up at the same point, and on April 26, 2015 we were at the same point and on the same stage.
My team won the game by the way. This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention that.
My prayer is that this is just a glimpse of more to come in our ability to achieve all the goals we’ve set for ourselves.