I was less than a year old when my parents uprooted their lives in Saskatoon and moved my brother and I to Louisville, Kentucky so my Dad could attend the Southern Baptist Seminary.
I don't remember a single thing from Louisville. But it sure did change my life.
Kentucky has always been basketball crazy. It was particularly crazy at that time. The University of Louisville basketball team had won their first national champoinship the year before. For my Dad, a hockey player from Moose Jaw, this was one of many cultural adjustments. While I was learning to speak with a southern drawl that would make Blake Shelton jealous, dad was beginning to love basketball.
The Cardinals won the national champoinship again a year after we'd returned to Canada.
I was growing into an athletic kid, but my parents never put me in hockey. Instead, dad built a basketball hoop on the driveway and told me stories about the pick up games he'd watched in Louisville. As soon as I was old enough, I joined the basketball league at the YMCA.
Basketball is still my passion.
Last night, the Cardinals won their third National Championship. The first that I remember. The first that I can celebrate. The one that I've been waiting for since the day Dad put that hoop on the driveway.
I bet when Dad arrived in Louisville he had no idea what an impact it would have on the rest of my life. As I was waiting for the game to start with my daughter snuggled up beside me, I began to wonder - what is it about our city, about our neighbourhood, about our home, at this moment in time, that is going to stick with her forever...?