Thursday, April 26, 2018
Lindsey Duvall gets park named after her -- Lacrosse in ACC Today -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
2017 MISS BASKETBALL HONORED WITH MT. WASHINGTON PARK NAMING
Chris Stallings is one of those guys who you like as soon as you meet him. The Bullitt East head girls basketball coach has spent countless hours working with and developing the basketball skills of hundreds of basketball players in the Mt. Washington and Bullitt County area. He does it with a smile and encouragement. When a person loves what they do, it comes very easy and effortlessly. There's pride there.
Ironically, one of the first times I met him, he was wearing a UConn women's basketball t-shirt. That's unique enough in Mt. Washington...but the fact that he had his star player Lindsey Duvall headed to Louisville to play for Jeff Walz in the fall of 2017 was enough cause for me to do a double take and wonder if something was afoot and Geno had gotten to the affable skipper of the Chargers. Stallings relieved my fears instantly.
"It's just the first shirt I grabbed and put on this morning. I talked to my athletic apparel supplier this morning. There's a lot of red and black stuff on the way."
Stallings relates this story about Duvall:
"We do things a little differently here at Bullitt East. At halftime of games, we let the kids in the stands take the court and shoot baskets. Lindsey's older sister played for me her at Bullitt East and Lindsey would get out there when she was in the second or third grade and hoop it up. You could tell at that age, she was sticking with it and she was going to be a player. She was going to be something special. I'd tell folks that they had to watch that little girl out there and they stay in the stands and watch her shoot...not go to the concession stand. That's the beauty here. You get to see them early on. They go to the camps, middle school and end up playing ball for me here."
Mt. Washington has gotten larger over the years. From a small, sleepy town with a two-lane Main Street...hardware store, funeral home, Dairy Queen (which was a Burger Queen way back when) a Baptist church, several locally owned businesses and restaurants and surplus store to a thriving, small community with major shopping malls, a bypass around the main street and huge high school that sits right off the bypass. Where Bardstown Road meets Hwy 44. But, it still has a small town feel. Kids still run the court at halftime. Coach still shakes your hand and treats you like your kin. When people ask you how you're doing, it's a sincere and honest inquiry. A part of America I do love so.
Duvall grew up also. She starred at Bullitt Central and was heavily recruited by both Kentucky and Louisville. She was always in a particular park shooting baskets whenever the weather allowed and she wasn't in the gym practicing her craft. Staying to watch Coach's son play baseball in that same park when she had exhausted herself after hours of dribbling, shooting and rebounding. You could say it was one of her homes away from home.
And now it's named after her.
The Mount Washington mayor and city council made it so. Stallings hasn't come out publicly and talked about his involvement in the naming...but one could probably correctly surmise that he was an integral part of the idea and it's rise to fruition.
Duvall enters her red-shirt freshman season at UofL after sitting out last year due to some knee issues. She had a tumorous growth removed from her left knee while in high school but some remaining fragmentation needed to be cleaned out that was causing pain during her freshman year on the Cardinal roster. She recovered nicely and probably could have played for the Cards around the beginning of ACC season in 2017-18 but chose to continue to learn and develop without wasting a year of eligibility. Oh, the things she saw! The memories made and places visited. A year wiser and ready to go, she'll ply her trade for a team that was one missed foul call and one tip-in attempt that barely rolled out from a NCAA Championship game against a foe already twice beaten earlier in the year.
There will be cookouts and pickup basketball games in Lindsey Duvall Park this summer. Elderly people out for a stroll or walking their dogs. Children playing tag or attempting to fly kites or playing catch. Baseball games and cheering.
There just might also be the next Lindsey Duvall. A young girl, time after time, throwing a round orb at a round rim. Practicing the dribble so the other kids won't steal the ball from her. Perfecting the shot. Scraping a knee occasionally and contesting a foul during a one-on-one or pickup game. Maybe even Lindsey herself will drive by, stop the car and watch for awhile. Maybe hear that little girl yell out to another young girl:
"I'm Lindsey, you're Asia and I'm going to hit this jumper to beat Notre Dame!"
Legends. Dreams. Hometown heroes. It's what America is made of. How many of us spent time in the backyard, or at a small park or parking lot throwing an old, worn-out rubber basketball at a rim with no net. In barely-above freezing weather. When it was so hot that the sweat from your head rolled into your eyes and made the basket blurry. When you challenged the kid who always beat you to just one more game of "21'...even though the light was fading from the sky.
Lindsey's honor is an honor, in a way, to all those kids and adults out there who ignored the call for supper, in order to get a few more shots up. Who played against every kind of competition available. Who played for love of game and the thrill of seeing that long or contested shot drop through the rim.
I'd like to think that a decade or so from now...a young mother takes her child for an afternoon walk and the child looks up and says: "Mommy, your name is on that gate overhead!" Knowing Lindsey, she's smile and tell her young charge: "C'mon, now. We need to get to the court so you can shoot the basketball."
LACROSSE ENTERS ACC TOURNAMENT PLAY TODAY.
The Louisville Lacrosse team has safely arrived in Durham, NC and is preparing for their first game of the ACC Lacrosse Tournament. A tall order, indeed, in front of Scott Teeter's LAXERS...facing #2 in the nation and #1 in the ACC Boston College for an 11 a.m. contest this morning.
The Cards need a win today, and most likely need to win the ACC Tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament. They have two players that received second-team All-ACC Honors yesterday in freshman Caroline Blalock and Emily Howell.
Boston College placed (4) on the All-ACC first team.
Today's action will be shown on Fox Sports South. Here's hoping the LAXCards can get off to a great start and hold on to the lead as time expires. An upset in the brewing? We'll know around 1 p.m.this afternoon.
Have a tremendous Thursday.
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."