Monday, January 23, 2006

January 21, 2006

Saturday, the SLA community gathered at the school for a prayer service, counseling sessions, and reflection on Ian and Victor's lives, and prayers for Jody and Nelson. As part of the service, Cameron led a session where students, faculty and friends could share memories of Ian and Victor. He began the session with some prepared remarks. These remarks were originally posted at the SLA Athletics website.

Victor Owusu and Ian Brown--Rest in Christ

The following are the remarks made by Cameron Loss, athletic director, at the memorial service for Victor Owusu and Ian Brown.

Tonight there should be a basketball game here.

Tonight, I should be picking up Johnny Russell to bring him to the game.

Tonight, I should be getting on the case of players who aren’t helping set up. Uniforms should be set out for players to put on.

At 6:30 pm, the girls game should start, and the boys team should be sitting together behind the girls bench cheering them on. With about 10 minutes left in the second half, the boys should head downstairs to put on their uniforms and get ready. Jody should put on #44. Victor should put on #21. Ian should put on #4.

That’s not going to happen.

Instead, our new gymnasium lights are being used for totally different reason. Instead of announcing starting line-ups, I’ve been asked to start the memories session. What follows is what I’ve been able to come up with in the last 24 hours.

Ian Brown #4
• “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
• In class, if there was something Ian believed in, and usually it was that he deserved another point, he would not back down.
• Ian, Chris, and Harry—sitting together, creating non-stop foolishness.
• 6-4-6 and the block at St. Mary’s.
• The Brown brothers come straight out of the Bill Cosby Fat Albert gang stories—the pick in the hair, the layers of clothes, the hat askew.
• Singing special music in advisee worship; coming late because you were trolling the other rooms looking for donuts.

Victor Owusu #21
• “I got you man.”
• Somewhere, there is a used car lot looking for you to be their salesman.
• You could sell ice to Eskimos, but you ain’t selling it to me.
• The Worcester crew from the dark streets.
• Sophomore & Junior year—doing the books for the b-ball teams.
• Nobody has had to listen to my post game rants about the teams more than Victor.
• Helping create the ads for our flyer.
• Wanted to play hoops this year and I tested him to see if he really wanted to play.
• Pushing me to try E-bay and get a cell phone.
• Organizing advisee worships, and singing when you came late.

February 18, 2006—senior night in this gymnasium. Since my daughter has been born, I’ve enjoyed giving her a flower on that night. This year I was looking forward to giving something to both her and my son. I’m still looking forward to that. But it will be a night of sadness.

I won’t be able to announce, “A one-year senior, #21, Victor Owusu.” His parents can still come down out of the stands if they want, but Victor won’t be there to hand them the flower. They won’t be able to pose for pictures. Uniform #21 will lay empty on a chair because Victor is gone.

February 17, 2007—senior night in this gymnasium. I should be able to say, “A four-year senior, #4, captain Ian Brown.” His parents and Jason can still come down out of the stands if they want, but Ian won’t be there to hand them the flower. They won’t be able to pose for pictures. Uniform #4 will lay empty on a chair because Ian is gone.

June 4, 2006—the class of 06 is going to the Bahamas. The Bahamas. And there will be an empty seat on that plane that Victor should occupy.

June 11, 2006—Mrs. Vandenbroek and I should pose for the class picture with Victor, shake his hand after he receives his diploma, and greet him in the receiving line. I should be able to remind him to remember the little people once he becomes the world’s biggest tycoon.

At the end of every practice, the Crusaders get together and in our huddle, say the following: We have our priorities:
1. God;
2. Family;
3. School;
4. Basketball.

In Heaven, I don’t think we will have basketball. While we will have eternity to learn, we won’t have school as we know it. But, we will have family—the family of God. And, we will have God.

If you know me, you know that there was no other man that I looked up to more than my grandfather. I would like to close my memories with the same thing I ended my talk with at his funeral. “My grandfather and I have a favorite passage in the Bible. I claimed this text with him on the phone 2 weeks before he passed away...John 14:1-3.

Ian, Victor, I now have a hole in my heart that will never be filled on this earth. But I believe that it will be filled in heaven by you. You were my students, my advisees, my players, and Victor, you were in the class I sponsored. You walked out of the school yesterday, and I said goodbye. I believe in the deepest part of my aching heart, though, that I have not said goodbye for the final time. I will see them again.
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