It’s May! That time of the year that I look forward to every year. And not just because it means we have four weeks left of school before the summer break. However, that’s a great reason. It’s not that I don’t enjoy being at my job, but two months of summer break allows me time to do the other thing I love: writing.
But I also enjoy the month of May because it’s the high point of the National Basketball Association playoffs. For as long as I can remember (since 1979), I’ve planted myself in front of 12′ black and white televisions, big box TVs, and now a 55′ high definition TV to enjoy the sport I’ve played since 1978 and loved since 1984. And even though I didn’t watch many NBA regular season games this basketball season due mainly to many of the stars being injured, I’ve been watching some of the playoff games. But once school is out, I’ll be able to watch plenty more—especially those late west coast games.
NBA playoff games start in April, but they pick up in May. So this month is not only must-see-TV, but it’s also May Madness, a play on the moniker March Madness observed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association postseason basketball tournament. The winners of the first and second rounds of playoffs in May advance to the conference championships with a chance to play in The Finals in June. So May is full of anticipation: I anticipate spending six to eight daytime hours writing my next book and watching playoff basketball at night once summer break begins.
I’ve recently thought about a future endeavor that I may pursue. I would call it Bball & Books—a combination of showing the importance of literacy and basketball’s fun and health-related significance. I could see this being instituted in summer camps and after-school programs. I believe the draw of sports is an excellent magnet for young readers, including reluctant readers. And one might be surprised by the number of NBA greats who have written books for kids: Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Lebron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chris Bosh, and C.J. Watson, among others.
I will continue to stand on the notion that early literacy is the biggest key to overall academic success. And if basketball or other sports can hook children into reading, we should not hesitate to use them when applicable.
In the meanwhile, let the madness begin!