Tuesday, March 14, 2006

FCCA State Tournament for Girls' Basketball

For the next three days I plan to be in Haines City, Florida for the 2006 Florida Christian Activities Association state basketball tournament. For the last 9 years I have had the privilege of coaching the Lee County Home School's girls varsity team. We are allowed to compete in a league of small Christian high schools that is divided into 4 regions throughout the state of Florida. We are the Southwest Regional champs this year.
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The Lady Ambassadors are a great bunch of girls who would most likely not get to play on a high school team were it not for the LCHS athletic association. Every year I have had at least one daughter on the team. Most years--including this one--I have had two (guess which ones are mine). With my son playing on the boys' team, my two oldest girls serving as assistants, my youngest playing on the practice team (affectionately known as the "Haflings") and Donna handling many of the behind-scenes-logistics, this has become for us a real family affair.
Each Winter and Spring LCHS basketball has provided a great source of recreation and connecting with young people.

Of course, since all of life is theological, basketball cannot be fully appreciated until it is viewed theologically. 1 Corinthians 10:31 is our team verse: "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." This verse is the key to helping us to go all out in playing basketball without allowing it to become an idol. Eating and drinking are not very dramatic activities. In fact, they are very mundane. Yet, Paul specifically mentions them as examples of "whatever" we might do, admonishing us that even in eating and drinking, God's glory is to be our aim. The same holds true for basketball.

What I try to teach my girls is this: basketball is not very important. It's just a game. But if you are going to play it, you better play it to the glory of God. That includes doing your best, being respectful of your opponents, the referees, fans, coaches and teammates. It means learning to win and to lose graciously. And it means remembering that Jesus Christ lived and died to reconcile us to God, so that we can pursue our greatest joy by seeking His greatest glory.
All of this to say that I will probably not be blogging much the rest of the week. Our first game is scheduled for Thursday morning at 10 AM. If we win, we must play again Thursday afternoon at 4 PM. If we win that game, we are in the finals on Friday at 3 PM.


GeneMBridges said...

Since I'm from the land of the ACC, I know all about basketball being theological.

After all, it's a religion in NC.


Let us know how y'all do!

joethorn.net said...


Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us. Very cool.

Ray said...

Wow, I made it on the Right Reverend Beloved Bishop Dr Tom Ascol's blog?!?! Does this mean I'm famous now?? ;) We're going to have some fun times at state!! I can't wait! Love you, Dad!

Brian Hamrick said...

Where can I find a bracket to fill out for this tournament?

Tom said...


Come on! You know that I have told you that you don't need to refer to me as "the Right Reverend Beloved Bishop Dr. Tom Ascol," you are my daughter. You may refer to me as "Sir Thomas." :-)

I love you, too, and look forward to seeing you finish out your senior season Soli Deo Gloria!

Pastor Brian:

Well, since you asked...my daughter, Rebecca, actually posted the bracket here. You have to scroll down to the "PS." We are LCHS. If I can, I will, as Gene requests, post how the games go.

Scott said...


After looking closley at your picture I have have come to believe that you look like Coach Bob Knight except he has more hair. Some may say that you look more like an offensive line coach in the SEC. In otherwords you look like " One Mean Dude".
However, I must disagree that this tournament that you are in is just for fun. You want us to actually believe you just tell the girls to just have fun and that winning is not really that important. Your a Texas AM guy! Has there slump in college football made you become this soft? Just having some fun with you!

Tom said...


Bobby Knight? When I look in the mirror I see Coach Kszyornsiapiasfdsski--you know, the guy at Duke! And of course I tell the girls that it is all about fun. I remind them that if they lose, it won't be much fun walking home. :-)

Concerning my Aggies: they are in the big dance! Ranked #12 in the SE Region, the perfect spot for a Cinderella team. Remember, you heard it hear first!

Pastor Steve said...


I wish you and your girls well. Luke is playing in the National Homeschool Tourney in OKC this weekend. We lost our opening game but have three more to go.

CJ Mahaney wrote a good article on sports on "Together for the Gospel" blog. You should check it out.

Have fun! (Everyone knows it is more fun to win!)

jrr said...


My son is also at the National Tourney this week in OK. Lost their first two seeding games. Guess we'll see what happens.

Hope your girls do well and have fun. I look forward to seeing you in Panama City in July.