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July 23, 2015

When I was in grade school I played on my grade school’s basketball team.  I played from 5th grade to 8th grade.  I wasn’t very tall then…nor very big…nor very good for that matter.  But I practiced regularly with the team, hustled, went to the games, and mostly sat at the end of the bench during those games.  Occasionally I would get a chance to play at the end of the games if we were ahead or behind by a bunch of points, but not very often.

I was disappointed that I wasn’t taller, or bigger, but I couldn’t change those things.

I was disappointed that I wasn’t better, but worked hard in practice to try to be better.

I was disappointed that my coaches didn’t give me more opportunities to play in the games, but I had little control over that either.

All I could do was hustle hard in practice, and hope the coaches cared enough about me to give me some chances to play.  So that’s what I did.

And while I didn’t get much playing time, I sense my coaches appreciated my positive attitude and how hard I tried.

At the end of one of the seasons, I think it was my 6th grade year, we had a basketball banquet where the players received recognition awards.

At the end of the awards presentations for our team, the MC announced that they had one last award to present: the NBA Award.  I imagined it was like an MVP Award and would go to one of the very good basketball players on our team. As the MC wrapped up the introduction for the NBA Award, he explained that the “NBA” stood for “Nice Boy Award” …. and then he called out my name!  The crowd applauded.   I was very surprised, and a bit embarrassed, as I was pressured to get up and go accept the award.  I did reluctantly.

When I got back to our table, and for the next couple days, I received jeers from my peers about being a “nice boy”.  It was a bit embarrassing to be so called by your 6th grade male peers.  6th grade boys can be cruel with their teasing.

I felt embarrassed and resentful about being presented with that award.

But I kept it and still have it today.  Here is a picture of it and the placard that it displays.




I imagine I  WAS a nice boy.

And I grew up to be a nice guy too.

The stigma of being a nice guy isn’t such a good one.  After all, nice guys finish last.

But I couldn’t change who I was…and wouldn’t want to.

For a long time I didn’t see much benefit in being the nice guy – except for the award that collected dust in a box in the basement.

At least until I met a nice girl – the nicest.  I mean if there was a Nice Girl Award, she would be the winner.

Now it all makes sense: Me -the nice boy; Her -the nice girl.

We were meant for one another.

Isn’t that nice?

Nice isn’t so bad after all.   It’s kinda … well … nice!


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy permalink
    July 23, 2015 11:12 pm

    That’s a really cute blog. And the trophy is….nice☺

    • Ed Novick permalink*
      July 23, 2015 11:21 pm

      Thanks. That was nice.

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