He was 4 years old when I was completing my final varsity season of basketball at Ayala High School in Chino Hills, California.
I wonder if Lonzo Ball ever attended any of our games and dreamt about his basketball future. I would see his now infamous father, Lavar, at the gym and various basketball events from time to time. It would be 10 years until Lonzo would play at neighboring Chino Hills High School.
Chino Hills, UCLA, Lakers. Lonzo just completed the trifecta of both our childhood dreams. He was raised in Chino Hills, spent one year at UCLA, and then was just selected by the Los Angeles Lakers as the #2 overall selection in the NBA Draft.
When I was 10, the UCLA Bruins had just won the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. I was hooked. The Lakers were several years away from their championship dominance, but I would often run to the TV to hear Chick Hearn put a game in the “refrigerator” as their victory was imminent.
You would often find me shooting on my 9 foot hoop in front of my house on Bayberry Drive. “3….2….1….Lyall shoots….he scores….Lakers win!!”
I remember cutting out a picture of my head and pasting it on the body of a newly drafted player, shaking the hand of (then) NBA Commissioner David Stern.
I grew to 6 feet, 7 inches tall, but I never got that scholarship offer from UCLA. I did get the chance to partially live out my dream of playing college basketball at Life Pacific College, who plays in the NCCAA. Yes, that’s the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association. I still have a video of my one career dunk if you’d like to see.
Some of us get to live out our childhood dreams. Some of us get new dreams as the years go along.
If I’m honest with myself, as much as I’d love to have played for UCLA and the Lakers, the deepest longing of my heart was to be a husband and a father.
I know God has great plans in the future for me and my family, but it’s pretty wild to see how He’s already provided and fulfilled my dreams.
Being a husband and father is way harder than anyone tells you, but it’s also more rewarding as well.
Are you living your childhood dream?
Are there dreams yet to be chased after?
Do you need to realize the dream you ARE living in?
I’d love to hear from you.