The (Missed) Shot Heard ‘Round the World

At last year’s ACC Tournament semifinal (basketball) game between Notre Dame and Duke, the halftime entertainment included giving someone an all-expense-paid trip to the game with the chance to take a half-court shot for $1 million. Scott Park was the lucky winner, and he and his wife made the trip from Virginia Beach to attend the game and for Scott to take the shot. When the time came, he took the ball in both hands, eyed the basket, ran to the half-court line, and launched the ball into the air with everything he had. And it sailed . . . to about the foul line.

Almost immediately, this seemingly epic failure of a grown man to throw an air-filled leather ball just over 45 feet was turned into vines and videos that littered the Internet. Comments were immediately flowing like “can you believe how bad that shot was” and “why did that dude even try”. With the virtual anonymity of the Internet, people can be brutal!

What these anonymous couch potatoes didn’t know was, that for the past eight years, Scott has been through a horrendous medical ordeal that resulted in his undergoing a very rare type of kidney transplant. Since the transplant, he and his wife make a five-hour journey every other Friday from their home to Baltimore for him to receive an infusion of an experimental drug, and then they drive home. All of this has severely weakened Scott.

Going into this moment, he KNEW there was absolutely no way he was going to come close to making the shot. In other words, he KNEW that he was about to have a very embarrassing ten seconds in front of A LOT of people. He didn’t care. He wasn’t going to let those ten seconds define him – at least not negatively. He was just glad he had the chance to walk out on the court under his own power and give it a shot.

As real estate and mortgage professionals, we meet people almost every day who feel like they have “ten seconds” of embarrassment that has defined their lives – it usually comes in the form of a bankruptcy, a foreclosure, or some other financial reversal of fortune. The moment we meet these folks, we have an almost immediate opportunity to help them realize they don’t need to let that embarrass or define them. While the realities connected with a bankruptcy or foreclosure cannot be wished away or made void with a hug, we have a special ken of knowledge that enables us to give them hope and a way to pursue the dream of owning a home again (or for the first time) – THAT is what makes us essential to this process, and we should never tire of letting people know this.

The very people we touch (figuratively) and help then become our biggest advocates and referral sources – advertising and marketing you CAN’T buy. “You HAVE TO go with my real estate and mortgage folks!!! They helped me get into this house when I was convinced I would NEVER be able to afford a house IN MY LIFE!!!” You’ve suddenly become their genie and their fairy godmother all rolled into one. Don’t take that too literally, though – it’s not a look most of us could pull off.

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