Tag Archives: Basketball

Panama Didn’t Want Me

If you are a teacher or student at Valley Christian High School, you know several things about me that others don’t.  First, you know that lately I’ve been on a kick of wearing bright “Spring” attire.  I own very little black, and I love when Spring comes around because I get to bust out all my coral, neon green, turquoise, teal, purple, pink, and peach shirts, skirts, and cardigans.

The other day a boy who works in the cafeteria told me, “Without even looking up, I always know when you’re here because of your vibrant clothes.”  I didn’t know how to respond, so I complimented him on use of the word ‘vibrant.’  Then just yesterday a girl I passed in the hall said, “I love how your pants brighten up the day.”   Looking down I realized the hot pink might be a bit much.

Another thing you teachers and students know about me that others might not is that last week I ran a marathon.  You know this because I was walking like a 90 year old on Monday.  For the record, I can now lower myself onto the toilet seat again without cringing and having to put my hands on the seat in order to sit that low.

And finally, you Valley people all know that I am officially done coaching basketball. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Confessions 21

I’m not Catholic but on Sundays, I make confessions.  Instead of telling them to a priest, I tell them to you, the internet world.  I try to post these in the morning, but let’s be honest, they typically get posted on Sunday night or Monday morning.  The best part about these confessions is when you make them too, so don’t be bashful and add your own confession in the comments.


1. I looked like an idiot when I didn’t know who well-known people are.  My most recent idiot moment came on Saturday.  Apparently Brendon Jennings was standing a few feet away.  When I was informed of this by excited voices, I responded with, “Who’s that? Did he go to Valley?”  People always assume that since I’m a basketball coach, I follow the NBA.  Obviously I don’t.

My other idiot moment came during our bunco game.  Yes, bunco, as in the dice game old ladies play.  I’m in a group that meets once a month and it’s a cool thing, okay.  I embarrassed myself by revealing my ignorance when I was at a table with the mega lotto winner (she got a check for $ 167 million last year and still loves to win 20 bucks).  She made a reference to Richard Ramirez and I, having never heard of this guy, asked if he was a childhood friend.  Apparently he is a well-known serial killer.  Man I hate looking like an idiot. Continue reading

Basketball and A Confession- guest post by Amanda Bast

When Amanda first left a comment on my blog, I thought, “This Mandie girl is really funny.”  And then I checked out her blog and thought, “Okay, this girl is REALLY funny.  And she’s Canadian?  I have the same sense of humor as a Canadian?  Oh dear.  What does this say about me?”

I’m not bashing Canadians in any way.   They’ve just always been somewhat of a mystery to me- like pageant queens and people who watch horror flicks- so it surprised me that I would share a sense of humor with one.  My sister asked me who “Mandie Marie” was because my sister knows every single person in my life and knows everyone who comments on my blog.  I told Heidi, “Oh she’s my new blog friend.  And get this- she’s Canadian.”  Yes, I felt very proud and cultured to announce that I have a Canadian friend.

One of the first posts I read by Amanda was THIS POST in which she explains how to pluck your own eyebrows.  As a girl who used to pull out almost all her eyebrows when stressed (true story), this post was both applicable and hilarious.  Girls, if you’re struggling with eyebrow maintenance, read that post.  It will change your life.

When you’re done reading here, leave a comment and then go check out Amanda’s blog HERE and check out some of her other posts that will most certainly make you chuckle.  She’s a riot, folks.  She’s a Canadian and she’s a riot.  I know.  I didn’t think this was possible either.  Here she is, Miss Amanda Bast:


I have never met Katie in person, but if I did, I assure you we would hit it off. The first time I read her blog it was about what to do if you pee your pants at work. I was enthralled. The first time I commented on her blog, it was about boogers. I was more than fascinated with this young woman. As I keep reading/internet stalking Miss Hardeman’s work, I see many similarities between the two of us. Making hideous faces and ruining perfectly good pictures, to name one. But there are also some pretty glaring differences between us. She appears to be tall. In my books, anyone over 5’9” (the height of my sister in law, the tallest in our family) is a giant. So I’m certain she is tall. As a just barely 5’2” individual, I’m a wee bit jealous. Secondly, she is athletic. I’m also rather jealous of this. Oh my dear internets, to say that I am unathletic is a vast understatement. Remember the kid in gym class who always got hurt? That was me. Remember the kid you lapped three times on the track? That was me. Remember the kid who was standing in line after recess and got knocked to the ground and trampled and had to be sent to the ER to check for a dislocated shoulder? That was most certainly me. I was (am?) that kid.

But let me tell you about a glorious exception to the Amanda-is-tiny-and-pathetic rule. One that helped shape me into the young woman I am today. In grade seven, I was on the basketball team. Read that last bit again and let it really sink in. It’s true. It was a fluke year when the players weren’t separated into really good players and nice effort but you still suck players. We were all one. And there weren’t very many of us girls, so I made it onto the team.

When I say that I was a head shorter than the shortest kid on the team, I am not exaggerating. I was LITTLE. But I was ballin’. I could do a perfect layup, but it was three feet short of the net. I could defend an opponent like you wouldn’t believe, but they could just catch the ball above my head. I could execute the perfect jump shot. The only problem was my two inch vertical.

My height did not stop me from achieving greatness, because I was too snarky to let it. I distinctly remember showing up to games and getting pointed at by other teams. Coaches whispered about me. Coaches yelled for their players to hold the ball over my head so I couldn’t reach. I overhead many conversations in which people (parents of other team members, even) giggled at my height. People were cruel. But I was having too much fun to care. How often does a shorty get to play basketball? I took advantage of the situation. I usually responded with a huge grin and a wave to the other team. It threw them off. It shamed them a tiny bit because they thought I couldn’t hear them. I called them on it. And then showed them I was a force on the court.

I do have a tiny confession to make. I had a secret that my coach did not know about. I’m sure she wouldn’t approve. I’ve never revealed this until now, so considered yourselves honoured recipients of this confession.

My secret to basketball greatness? ELBOWS.

I threw so many elbows into stomachs that year it was almost criminal. In the middle of a shuffle I could stab someone in the gut and go completely unnoticed. Someone would double over, but the short kid never got in trouble. I don’t care if you didn’t have the ball in your possession, you still got an elbow in the breadbasket. I’d step out onto the court, elbows a blazin’, ready to show them who was the boss (certainly not Tony Danza, don’t be absurd!). Don’t mess with the little one or she’ll mess with you. I crippled preteen girls across the whole school district. And I must admit: IT FELT GREAT. It was my subtle way of saying “I hear you making fun of me. But I’m not going to stoop so low as to acknowledge it, I’m just going to use blunt force instead”. The injured girls never said anything because they knew I had heard them tease me. They knew if they responded physically, it would look as though they were pounding on the weak and defenceless.

They also learned to never to mess with a shorty.

It was a brilliant strategy, and one that has stayed with me to this day. However, I’m not sneaky and deceptive about it anymore. I give fair warning because I’m polite like that. Before I enter a crowd I yell something about elbows and people get jabbed if they are in my way. It’s a coping strategy. It’s the only way I make it through a crowd alive. I may still be unathletic and pathetic when it comes to sports, but I am no longer the kid who gets trampled, thanks to my days on the grade 7 basketball team. It was there that I discovered the power of the elbow.

So I tell you this: if you are ever in a crowd and you hear a voice from below yell “ELBOWS OUT!” I suggest you guard your gut. For your own safety.

Wow Wednesdays 4- Text Messages

“Wow Wednesdays” is a discipline for me.  Not like a “soap in the mouth” kind of discipline, but like a “read the Bible each day” kind of discipline.  It forces me to write and it forces me to acknowledge the times my jaw has dropped during the week.  I say “wow” for lots of reasons.  Often it’s because humans are so stinkin weird or my nephews are so stinkin cute, but the greatest instigator of “wows” has always been our great God.  Wednesdays are when I chronicle some of the odd crap I’ve witnessed but mainly the cool crap God has taught me.  


Have you ever received a text message that has made you say, “Wow”?

I have.  Several actually.  Usually they are along the lines of, “My water just broke,” or “8 centimeters dilated.”  Yesterday I got a text from my sister that read, “Vander (her 4 year old son) just asked me if I’ve ever had a butt itch.”  When she responded by laughing, I guess he said, “Cause I have one.  Should I just itch it?”  Wow, indeed.

Saturday I received another text that made me say, “Wow” but not in a good way- more like a “Wow, my life is going to suck” way.

It was late at night and I was devouring a napkin-load of snickerdoodles I had snuck from the wedding I was at that night.  I was busy typing away, preparing the Sunday Morning Confessions post full of stories all about my team- my wonderfully hilarious team.  Then my best player texted me.  You know, the one who just committed to UCLA.  The one who tells everyone else where to go on defense and gets most of our rebounds.  The one who scores 80 % of our points and for whom every single play is designed for.   Yeah, that one.  She sent me a text informing me she had torn her ACL that night. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Confessions 9- Summer Coaching

Tomorrow marks the very last day of summer basketball.  I’ve spent the last 7 weeks with 10 squirrelly high school girls, so naturally I have a boatload of confessions.  I’ll share all but two of them.  Now you’re curious about the two I won’t share, aren’t you?  One must be kept confidential because if my girls ever found out, they’d be way too embarrassed, and I can’t share the other because I might lose my job.  Yeah, let your imagination run wild with that one.  But it’s not as crazy as you think.  And administrator, if you ever stumble upon this blog, I’m totally kidding.

So without further ado, here are my Sunday Morning summertime coaching confessions:

1.  I pretended to be a player.  Here’s the thing: I feel like their mom all the time.  They started calling me Mom and laugh pretty hard when I respond without hesitating.  Last weekend I chauffeured them around in a giant 15 passenger van, fed them, and gave them curfews and bed times.  I REALLY felt like their mom then.  Much to my chagrin, I’ve even been mistaken for one of the girl’s actual moms several times.  I must admit that we do share somewhat of a resemblance because of our Dutch roots:

but I much prefer being mistaken for her older sister than for her mom.  I mean, I’ve yet to see a mom master the “shake face” pose. Continue reading

A Greater Good

My dad’s team won the NAIA National championship last week. It was on ESPN so basically my dad’s a celebrity. I can get you a signed picture if you want one.

The Hardeman living room was pretty comical during the game. Me, my brother, sister-in-law, and our parents’ dog Nike all watched the game together, clapping and cheering wildly while also trying to jinx the other team. I have never been so nervous watching a basketball game.

Eight Months

I plan on vacuuming my room today. It’s been a few months and I have a cat who sheds so the carpet in my room is borderline disgusting right now. But I HATE vacuuming and will use any excuse in the book not to. For the past few months my excuse has been: I’ll clean once I’m not so busy with basketball. Well, our season officially ended last night. It wasn’t an awesome ending but it was an awesome season. And now I have time to do those things on my to-do list which I’ve been putting off “because of basketball” like vacuuming my room and washing my sheets and clipping my toenails. Who knows, maybe I’ll get real crazy and open my mail from the past 4 months.

Favorite Year

This week a professor at Westmont asked me for a picture of myself coaching to put on their website to advertise the credential program. I asked our fabulous yearbook gal/my fabulous friend if there were any on stock from last year and she sent over some pretty ridiculous pictures. I’ve reached a few conclusions looking at these pictures:
1- It’s impossible to look intense and cute at the same time.
2- I really do look like the White Witch from Narnia.
3- I should NEVER coach in sleeveless shirts. (I’m not degrading myself- I realize I have manly arms. Always have. When I was FOUR, a stranger asked my mom if they made me lift weights)

Butterfly Destruction

I’ve never liked butterflies. They’ve always kinda creeped me out but I’ve found that people think you’re some kind of monster if you admit that you don’t like them. It’s like saying you don’t like sunshine or rainbows. Sure, they’re pretty and it’s cool how they emerge from cocoons, but really they’re just colorful moths masquerading themselves as if they weren’t flying bugs.
And I hate flying bugs. I cringe and do a little internal freak out when they flutter and fly too close to me, flashing their colorful wings way too near to my face. I sense your judgment but I’m being honest here: butterflies, moths, bees, wasps- they’re all the same in my book. And even though I want to, society won’t permit me to swat these obnoxiously beautiful butterflies away. Because everyone hates bees and wasps but I’ve found people have an exceptionally low tolerance for butterfly-haters. Truth be told, I feel the same way about lady bugs. The only thing I like about lady bugs is that 1992 soccer movie with Rodney Dangerfield. But I digress. Lady bugs, butterflies: I’m on to you. The world might admire your beauty and grace but I see you for what you really are: dirty, nasty, flying bugs with a little splash color. S0 please, stay away from me.

Crying in the Locker Room

Seven years ago I sat in a locker room bawling for a good hour. They were fat, painful tears that left my eyes puffy and body drained. My college team was playing in the NAIA National tournament and I had missed a shot at the buzzer which would have won us the game to advance to the elite eight. I wasn’t crying about the shot, though. I was crying, sobbing rather, because I envisioned myself as a fourth grader, with a killer side pony, practicing my form with my dad in the backyard. I was replaying the hours and hours and hours I had spent on basketball courts from the time I first learned the game to that last shot as a senior in college. And I was realizing that it was all over. Basketball had consumed my time, my thoughts, my energy, my world for so long, and now it was over.