January 12, 2009

Rebuilding and REBOUNDING

So here I sit with lots on my mind...This has been quite a week. It's the first Monday since the Thursday night fire. I am at mom and dad's Seattle apartment with Luke. I spent the day cleaning and taking inventory of what they have left here at there second home ( praise the Lord for a place to be) I finally got to hug my mom this morning. A hug has never felt so good and so meaningful. The latest twist to the family drama is that my dad was transported to the hospital at about 8pm last night. His artificial hip has dislocated and the emergency crew was unable to manipulate it back to place, so dad was admitted to UW Hospital and may face surgery if they are unable to place it manually. I talked to dad this morning but have yet to hug him. He sounded pretty good and drugged up! Luke, mom and I will make our way the hospital after some morning phone calls to banks, credit card and insurance companies. The to-do list is eminence and will be slow going especially with the current detour. Mom got a new cell phone yesterday and today we are going to do our best to get car keys remade for each vehicle and try to reestablish my mom and dads identity with Drivers licences. This is going to be a long journey... I praise God that my parents have a strong relationship with one another and they are choosing to put their faith in the Lord to be their strength and help them rebound and rebuild. Just hearing them talk to one another on the phone brings tears to my eyes. There is just so much love between them.

On a lighter note- The word REBOUND has deep meaning for our family. The legacy my dad has instilled in all of us is to be good REBOUNDERS! I must take a moment to reflect and celebrate my dad..this article was just in the Seattle PI on the 6th of January.

Where Are They Now? Doug Smart

UW basketball legend Doug Smart was almost the kid who grew too much

Doug Smart's rapid growth as a teenager was caused by an overactive pituitary gland and it wasn't normal. He was 6 feet 3 as a ninth grader, with the potential to add up to 15 more inches in a hurry.

If unchecked, a doctor advised him, Smart would face dire consequences. To slow things, the kid took prescribed medication for six months.
"I would not only be a giant, I wouldn't have lived to be 30," he said. "It was intervention that was appropriate."

Smart was a basketball player who topped out at 6-7 and found great coordination once the spurt was over. He became a high school sensation at Garfield, averaging 26.7 points and leading the Bulldogs to the 1955 state championship as a senior and to a state runner-up finish to the Bruno Boin-led Franklin Quakers as a junior.

He chose Washington over Stanford in recruiting, but his reputation stretched well beyond the West Coast. He was offered the chance to see what a 7-foot basketball player looked like up close.

"I got a postcard from Kansas, from coach Phog Allen, that said with a little note, 'We've got Wilt (Chamberlain). Want to be his power forward?' " Smart recalled.
He ran into Chamberlain soon enough. In his fourth and fifth varsity games for the Huskies as a sophomore, Smart faced Kansas and "Wilt the Stilt" at Edmundson Pavilion.
In front of sold-out crowds, the outrageous Chamberlain dominated play while leading the Jayhawks to a pair of 14-point victories. He came up with 30 points and 16 rebounds one night, 37 and 28 the other.

Smart was 5 inches shorter but didn't wilt in the face of Wilt. He finished with a double-double both nights, supplying 33 points and 17 rebounds in the second game.
They exchanged friendly banter throughout the weekend. Chamberlain provided unforgettable memories, particularly on one blocked shot.

"He was well spoken and a gentleman, but he knew he owned the paint," Smart said. "He did funny things like if you scored on a little jump hook, you would be going down the court and he'd run past you and say, 'Don't try that again.' The next time down, of course, you'd just be screaming for the ball.

"It was the only time I had someone catch my shot with two hands and smile at me."
The next year, Smart played against Chamberlain at Kansas, scored eight quick points and had the Huskies in front 15-7. He lasted just six minutes before sitting down in questionable foul trouble in what became an 18-point loss.

"The crowd had gone real quiet, and then I got three of the quickest fouls that have ever been called," he said. "That was the worst I'd ever experienced."
For two years, Smart and the 6-9 Boin were teammates, giving the Huskies two career double-double players up front. These Tippy Dye-coached Huskies were advertised as the nation's tallest team. They were considered Pacific Coast Conference contenders for the 1958-59 season. They finished 18-8 and second to California, the eventual NCAA champion, and came away greatly disappointed.

"Had we been able to open it up a little more, I think Bruno and I could have worked better together," Smart said. "We had two big men in there with their fannies to the basket, and we were almost in each other's way. We tried very hard not to be, moving away when the other had the ball.

"Tippy said years later, 'I wish I had you two over again. I'd use you different.' "
Drafted by the Detroit Pistons but forsaking an NBA career, Smart remains one of the UW's most accomplished players. He ranks as the UW's career leader in rebounds with 1,051 (13.5 per game), a record that soon will be broken by Jon Brockman, and 10th-best scorer with 1,478 points (18.9).

Smart, 72, lives on Orcas Island with his wife, Jeri, and they have two daughters and two grandchildren. They operate an equestrian guest ranch that has 14 Tennessee walking horses and offer riding opportunities, lessons and an overnight cabin ( http://www.walkinghorsefarm.com/). Smart also is a dentist, now working two days a week in Northgate.

He could have been taller, which might have made it easier to deal with Chamberlain. With a couple of more inches, he and Boin could have been matching bookends and near impossible to stop inside. He figures he made the smart move in becoming Doug Smart.
"I think 6-7 was just fine," he said. "You've got to live in the real world. They still make things for people much smaller than myself. Cars are smaller. Sofas are smaller. I can't imagine trying to lug around a bigger person than I do.


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