An open letter to my brother and all the little brothers out there about "Life on the Bench"

Dear Sam,

The 2017-18 basketball season was a true learning experience for me. You know my dream job would be to be a Division 1 basketball or baseball coach at some point in my career. Before this season, I always assumed the experience I would gain on the court would be the most important to help me as a coach. I couldn't have been more wrong. 

The view from the court and the view from the bench couldn't be more different. Given the choice, of course I would always choose to be on the court. However, this year both of our game time views were primarily from the bench which meant we had few opportunities to make big contributions on the court. I knew up front my playing time would be split between JV and Varsity quarters and varsity playing time would be limited. So I knew I had a lot of time on my hands during games, which gave me a chance to see the game in many different ways. 

First, I realized how lucky we are to have such a unique high school gym. The look and feel of the gym is one of a kind, and there is no other gym in the state that can compare. Take the time to look at the championship banners hanging in our gym and actually read the names. Not only do the banners represent a rich history of talent from our community, but also many of the names on those banners are our relatives. That is pretty cool. 

Second, I realized how great our fan base is at Hauser. No matter what team we played, Hauser fans were always there cheering the team on. Hauser's Danger Zone was just plain fun to watch this year. From singing Christmas carols to the infamous "traveling suit case," the Danger Zone is awesome! Also, the band, cheerleaders, and student anthem singers did an outstanding job this year, and you should always take time to tell them Thank You. 

Third, I never noticed how much the team managers actually do to help a team. This year I did. Sam Robinson and David Seelye were at every practice and got the team ready for every game in so many ways. I got to sit by Sam Robinson at the end of the bench most of the season, and I truly enjoyed his game time play-by-play and the fact that he would always share his skittles with me during the game. Sam made this season fun for me, and I truly appreciate all that he and David did for the team. 

Fourth, we had several teammates lose close family members this season. It was very tough on those players, and I think every athlete in our program felt the pain right along with them. I was glad to be sitting right beside you Sam at the funerals, and I know you, just like me, weren't sure what to say or what to do to help our friends. But I was proud that so many athletes in our program chose to be there showing support for our teammates when they needed it most.

Last but not least, I learned how important it is to really love the sports you choose to play. High School basketball is very competitive but should also be fun. There is no guaranteed amount of playing time, even if you think you've earned more playing time or think you worked harder than someone else. All I can say is, everyone on the team probably feels the same way. Life isn't always fair, and that is a hard lesson for all of us to learn. My best advice, work hard on your game in the off-season, study hard, and make good grades. Remember that you represent your family, your team, and your school at all times. 

In closing, Sam (and all the other little brothers in the program) chose to be a person of good character off and on the court. It will help you more in life than any basket, shot, or play you will ever make. The 2017-18 basketball season ended much sooner than most of us expected or wanted. 

It was tough, but always remember the most important measurement of your success doesn't always show up in the win/loss column. Sometimes, you will succeed just as much in life from a different point of view and learn more than you ever thought you could. I hope you will remember this as you enter High School next year. 

Your Big Brother,

Sean