Monday, April 2, 2012
Ben is such a good dribbler, I cannot believe it! As soon as we get to the gym he just takes off dribbling and nothing will stop him. I am dribbling right by his side, chatting with him but I am finding it difficult to keep up with him. I engage him in conversation and learn that he likes to swim. I am going to have to ask his father how strong of a swimmer he is because I want to take Ben swimming in Park Center, during open swim on Saturdays. I really am excited to see him in the water, and I cannot help but wonder if Ben will head towards the diving board. More on this later.
Ben and I met up with a few friends, Bob and Bryan, to shoot around in Park Center. Andy's student Bob was so happy to see Ben, and I consider myself lucky to have seen their friendship. I met Bob and Bryan and both of them are so friendly. The three of them must know each other from school because they were having a blast, and likewise so was I. I was so glad that Leron, Andy and I made plans to meet with each other. Definitely have to do it again.
I meet with Ben to play basketball and the look on his eyes, sheer excitement. I love the passion he has for the game of basketball, the look of joy in his face, it's priceless. It makes it all worth it. Ben quickly grabs his basketball and starts having the time of his life, without a care in the world.
I took Ben to 281 lanes to a few rounds of bowling. We ended up playing 3 rounds and Ben was amazing! Ben has the cognitive knowledge of bowling, never missing a beat. He was able to get a handful of strikes and I was thoroughly impressed. During the middle of our games, two high school students started bowling in the lane next to us and I could tell Ben was gradually getting uncomfortable. The high schools kids were very friendly and meant no harm, simply were trying to play a few games of bowling and have some conversation. Ben did not like it. I want to make him more comfortable around peers.
Now I finally get to play basketball with Ben 1 on 1, giving myself the ability to engage him in conversation with his full attention. I learned that Ben loves to dribble, more than he does to shoot, and he is a fan of Syracuse basketball, which I could have imagined. I hope to see a more social Ben by the end of the semester, hoping he does not hesitate to say what is on his mind.
It was finally time for me to meet Ben during the Project Dream Kickoff, and admittedly so, I was nervous. I knew he was 15 and I knew he liked basketball, but that it just about all I knew. Ben and I really hit it off and I learned just how good at basketball he is. I met his father and I could tell just how much his father cares about him. I want to show his father that I am here to help Ben and be his friend. I am looking forward to the days to come.