A Lesson from the Final Four

When I was in college I was student manager for the Auburn University men’s basketball team.

Yes, the same program that lost in a heartbreaking manner in the final four on Saturday night after a Cinderella-like run through March.

Obviously, the Auburn basketball program hasn’t always been an elite one. In fact, back when I was in school I spent probably 30+ hours a week at Auburn arena. I’d go to workouts at 5/6AM, go to class from 8AM-Noon (I always tried to get class done as early as possible), do my school work/assignments and then head back to the arena for practice around 3PM. 

Managers were always the first ones there to setup for practice and we were the last ones to leave as we not only cleaned up the gym after practice, but the locker room and any errands for the coaches as well. Not to mention we stuck around to rebound and work with players that wanted to get extra shots up.

But when I was there Auburn was at the bottom of the pit. Historically one of the worst periods in program history. I'm pretty sure we never won more than 15 games a season during those years.

I remember a game against LSU when I watched our guys score 6 points in the entire first half. 


SIX points in TWENTY minutes.

Then in 2019...in the last 3 weeks I've watched Auburn beat three of the most storied programs in the country back to back to back. Kansas. North Carolina. Kentucky.

If you’d told me, the other managers, the players, or even the coaches back at halftime of that LSU game that in a few years Auburn would win an SEC championship and then make it all the way to the final four, most of us would’ve laughed in your face.

There was no vision. There was no hope. There was a lack of quality leadership.

But what most of us forget when we’re in the trenches, is that it’s just for now, but not forever.

I think I heard that quote in church.

It’s just for now, but not forever.

Today, I think a lot of us aren't anywhere close to where we want to be. We'd prefer to travel more. Make more money. Do less work. Spend more time with family. Have a bigger impact that matters. Not deal with as much BS from coworkers. The list is unending. We want to do less of the things we hate. 

But those things are just for now, not forever.

So if today, you’re not where you want to be…keep pressing forward. Even if it’s one tiny step at a time. Because where you are right now is NOT where you will be forever.