Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 318 - Assists are good to give and GET...Don't Give Up

"Never Give Up, NEVER GIVE UP!" in the famous words of Jimmy Valvano, right after he said..."Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul."  So it is with great complexity that I analyze the recent news of a fellow referee's death. Bonita Spence was in my age range and had been officiating basketball on the highest level in women's sports for twenty-seven years.  She was on the first all female crew to officiate a professional mens game, that's hasn't happened since then probably.  She left behind a fourteen year old daughter, worked for the NJ Public Defenders office for over twenty years and was a lead investigator.  So it was with great agony as we all waited to hear the news of why.  Why?  WHY?  

The New York Times reported yesterday the reason...suicide.  What Suicide?  SUICIDE?  Giving up?  Cancer took Jimmy V and he fought til the end, and Bonita gave up?  I just can't believe it.  I can't believe a person of Bonita's character, strength, conviction, leadership, reputation, and stamina gave up.  What does this say?  We don't know what is going on inside of one another?  How could a fellow official let down her partners for her scheduled games?  THIS JUST DOESN'T HAPPEN in the officiating world.  I just smell foul play if you don't mind the pun.  Just look at these photos, does this look like a photo of a woman, a mother, a lead investigator, an official who doesn't have it going on?  

Bonita would always help the younger, less experience officials.  She mentioned in workshops with players that being height-challenged was no reason for not getting assists. She made no excuses.  So why would this strong woman of such great moral character not ask for an assist at her greatest time of need?  The officiating family is a small network, a very close-knit tight network, of course she knew someone would be there to help her.  Just pick up the phone, text, call, email, Call for the BALL.

I think more of Jimmy V's quotes will just have to help me get through this conundrum.  I don't understand and I don't think many of us ever will... I just wish Jimmy were alive at that last possible moment to say these words so that she could have heard any of them...they would have made a difference, I'm sure of it.

I asked a ref if he could give me a technical foul for thinking bad things about him. He said, of course not. I said, well, I think you stink. And he gave me a technical. You can't trust em.

 And if you see me, smile and maybe give me a hug. That's important to me too.

I just got one last thing, I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get you're emotions going.

 Now, I look at where I am now and I know what I wanna to do. What I would like to be able to do is to spend whatever time I have left and to give, and maybe some hope to others.

Jimmy V, please give Bonita a hug today in Heaven, I think she needs it.