Oh the excitement was in the air as Friday approached, as families loaded their cars and the kids made sure they had their NRV ELITE uniforms, those socks that they wear and their special shoes only to be worn on the court; their special “sleeves” they often are pink to represent the Breast Cancer awareness that they proudly display with the pink ribbon on their jerseys. Some left for the south and others including the family left for Maryland. Many families took off from work, the Elders joining in this road trips and oh my, one would think it was the making of the NBA as all set off for the games. Yes, the excitement was just that grand, as today starts a weekend of basketball for them all. And gather they will, probably 200 in gyms and high schools in MD and in the south from places just all over the place!
Imagine all that energy in the hotels and at the complimentary breakfast this morning getting ready and those adults with the patience of saints. Here in Florida I’m in my NRV ELITE shirt, have called Kamryn to remind him to have the attitude of a winner, the focus of a champ and to relax; to be the ball and pound the hardwood while striving for excellence out there on that court!  My phone will blow up with texts and updates, and scores from Angie, and the hope is they will work as a team and succeed today.
They arrived safely to Maryland yesterday; the kids found the pool, the adults found that they were not in the best of areas in Capital Heights Maryland, yet they were determined to make the best of times in an area they did not know well. And then it happened:
In a heart beat the mood was changed, the kids who are care-free and joyous just being kids went from happy to fearful; the parents and grandparents from cautiously optimistic to fearful and angry.
Just like that!
A car of NRV parents and Elders and kids pulled into the entry to check in and returned to their vehicle only to find that someone saw an opportunity to steal everything in the car; all the kid’s NRV Elite gear, medications of the Elders, clothing, basketballs, GONE. Just like that, GONE. In broad daylight in front of the entrance of the hotel in a hot minute. Just that quick.
From a long 8 hour drive and what was a time of sheer joy and excitement of a weekend of basketball to fear, shock, anger and devastation just like that. In a wink, just gone.
The news spread like a wild fire and all the kids that had arrived went into “fear mode”, most of course probably feeling the energy of the adults, many wanting to leave the hotel and seek safety somewhere else. Some even wanting to drive home and forget the whole thing, now feeling like this place they had come to was just outright and unsafe place to be for them. Many wanting to retreat to their rooms and call it a day while hoping to hear that they were OK, and that somehow this was going to be alright.
The police were called, a report filed and who knows if now someone now in Capital Heights is not wearing of the NRV ELITE uniform or has given it as a gift to another. Who knows if the person who saw an opportunity did not work in the hotel, or just saw a time and moment that they could steal from another and get away with it, and hit the mother load also getting a basketball or three along with medications needed for those who rely on them for their health. We will never know I guess. But the bigger message and thought is the fear that was instilled in kids that were just doing what kids do on the eve of a week-end of basketball and how they process perceived threat outside the door of a strange place. They were not in harms way inside a hotel, no one threatened or did harm to another individual, yet they felt threatened by this act. No one was individually harmed in this crime of opportunity, yet collectively they all felt harm was done to them and wanted to go somewhere else. It’s hard to pack up about 200 kids and take them immediately to another hotel that could accommodate them just like that! Yet it is possible to round them all up, for coaches to get all together and “de=brief” the situation and let them know they will do all they can to instill safety and to get them back on track and in game mode.  Yes it is possible that those kids were feeling the invasion of personal space and privacy secondary to the energy and gut reactions of the adults and it went straight into their fragile esteems and nervous systems, just as quickly as those who parked in front of the entrance to check in only to return and see they had been violated with this theft.
Fabulous Coach Skinner was notified by phone and immediately rose to the occasion saying to take this child to the local mall and outfit him with all he needed for the weekend. She attempted to restore normalcy for those there, and today the games will begin. Many took off after the crisis to eat, to get away from the hotel and to breathe some air that was different. None of them know the area, and most live far from this big city, this urban sprawl. 
Today they head to various venues to play, to compete.  Have they restored their sense of purpose in being so far from home? Have they now gotten themselves in game mode? Only time will tell on that one. What a way to say, “Welcome to Maryland, we hope you enjoy your visit”.

   Much will depend on the adults, on the messages and energy they transfer to the kids on this day. They are the ones who must change their focus in order to change the state of thinking and to pump these kids up for the day and for life itself. Yes, there are times when rotten things happen, but that does not mean that all days or all people are rotten. The message to be learned is, when you are out and about, one needs to be alert, aware, of your surroundings, to always be sure and lock your cars and to know that there are those who will take advantage of a split second of opportunity.
YET, kids are resilient and we would do wise to learn from them, so today?
wherever you are, whatever you are doing… strive for excellence, do your best and remember this,
Stay alert, help another, be aware of your surroundings, keep your doors locked and your heart open.

NRV ELITE, shoot the hoops and focus on why you are there wherever you are, and go for it…

 Whether you think you can, or think you can’t you will be right! “swoosh”

Walk in BEauty,



  1. Too bad – they are great and they will win that game next weekend. Hope everyone is had a good Saturday. Very busy here all day and very cold. Had a lot of snow today. Take care friends /Sandy♥

  2. Well you win some and you lose some, and this was not the weekend for the NRV ELITE… they played hard, but it was 0-2 for the Elite… They balled hard and it soon will be time to head home,maybe next weekend!Good try Elite, who would have thought that first team would be 6'4" and more and 13 years old?Hard odds to beat.Hold your heads high and know you played your best.Safe travels to all.

  3. hellooooo..WAY TO GO ELITE !!get your mojo on, shake off thenegative and join forces to do yourthing , play ball !!sounds as if this pep talk coulddo the trick to bring it all backinto focus ..hoping for a fun and victoriousday for the NVELITE !!no matter the score.. these kids are winners !!Have a great day y'all..hugging angels here, sign me ♥ A.

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