I wrote 2 blog posts yesterday and this is number 3! After I heard/saw this…it became my priority!
These are Riley’s knees. Soon after she started practicing yesterday with her dad/ coach @10fingersbasketball she took a nasty fall. Her dad gave her a choice to pack up and go home or to endure her temporary pain and continue her practice. What do you suppose she did?
Riley is the young lady who represents Daniel in basketball (quietly), by wearing his basketball number, 21. She has been wearing his number since she “won” the choice and asked for it at Roosevelt Jr. High School. The players have to “shoot” for number choice and the first year (7th grade) she didn’t shoot well enough to get number 21. So she practiced and the following year, she got to choose. She had to endure the same shooting challenge at Downey her first year of high school because a few other girls wanted number 21. Riley made a 3 pointer and earned the choice for number 21 her freshmen year (as a starter for the JV team). She has been wearing number 21 since 8th grade and is currently a Junior at Thomas Downey High School.
Riley doesn’t remember Daniel. Her dad, Guy and Daniel were classmates, teammates and good friends at Downey. Daniel held Riley when she was a baby but she has no memories of him except what she has been taught by her parents. Sameth (Riley’s mom) and Guy have been talking to Riley about Daniel since she was tiny. She developed such an appreciation for Daniel through stories and videos (having to watch dad and Daniel play basketball together) that on her own she choose to honor her dad and mom’s “soldier, friend” in this way.
Our family is incredibly touched by the gift that Riley gives us in representing our son/brother and working hard to develop her skills as she honors this American Soldier that she has heard so much about.
The season is coming up and if you live in the Modesto area I would encourage you to download a girls basketball schedule and come out and watch Riley play. She reminds me of her dad at certain times when I’m watching her play. She is developing into quite an athlete. I will be coming to Modesto in January just to watch Riley play. It’s always a prevelige.
Miss Riley, I know there is one heavenly solider who is extremely proud of your progress and persistance, even and most especially on those days when giving up and going home would have been a much easier choice.
WE LOVE YOU! GO RILEY! and GO DOWNEY!
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. Theodore Roosevelt