When you love the game, all you want to do is play. For many athletes, high school is the end of the road when it comes to organized sports. Your senior season is full of so many lasts. Your last tryouts. Your last team picture. Your last team trip. Your last rivalry game. Your last point scored. Your last play made. Your last game played. I remember living each of these out and it got more and more bittersweet as time went on. For Lainy Fredrickson, it’s her time to have the best senior year ever!
During a Friday night rivalry game the energy was up and so was the Norman High girl’s basketball team. With just under a minute left, in comes Lainy Frederickson, a senior on the team. The team had done their part to get a big lead (57-35) and now it was Lainy’s turn to come in and make the basket she had been working on for a long time. On her seventh shot attempt, that ball hit the backboard square and went right in! The crowd went crazy and a few students even stormed the floor.
The crowd had been chanting her name and basically begging the coach to put her in. Lainy has lasting developmental challenges from a brain tumor she had before. This does not change her heart or the joy and love she brings to everyone she meets. Her team has embraced her and they all give her pointers whenever they can. They are her friends. They eat lunch together. They talk in the hall. They do normal high school girl things. Each girl on the team knew how much it meant to her to play and they were bound and determined to make that happen. When the shot was made Lainy, her teammates, her coaches, and the cheerleaders celebrated. In the locker room there were many tears shed. They were tears of happiness. Hard work had paid off.
Romans 12:3 says, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” We are all people. We are all human. No one should ever be treated less just because they are different. Lainy’s teammates, coaches, friends, and high school showed us unconditional love in action.