We are in the middle of March Madness! It’s the second day of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, so I thought I would feature articles on arguably the most popular American sport.

I also feature three other timely topics you may find interesting.

  1. Coach ‘Bones’ McKinney

I start with a Baptist Press article titled “’Bones,’ basketball and N.C. Baptists.”

ESPN’s ACC Network has been running 10-episode series called “The Tournament: A History of ACC Men’s Basketball.” You can read a good review about the series here.

I love sports documentaries, and “The Tournament” is one of the best I’ve watched. It was a quality education for me, learning how the Atlantic Coast Conference started back in the early 1950s, continuing through the time I was living in Virginia in the late ‘80s and all of the ‘90s and up to today.

One personality who was an early focal point in the series is a coach named “Bones” McKinney who coached at Wake Forest and was also a Southern Baptist preacher.

To my surprise, Baptist Press featured the article on McKinney this week, and it’s a splendid follow-up read after watching his story. The BP story gives an even greater perspective of how McKinney had the dual role of coaching and preaching.

  1. Giving up basketball over convictions

Leah Church was living her dream, playing basketball for the University of North Carolina. However, because of “some secular pressures” from the team, Church decided to walk away from playing at UNC after two seasons.

Favorite Christian writer Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra interviewed Church about this experience, and I was impressed and encouraged with what Church had to share.

Check out “Choosing God over basketball,” and I welcome your thoughts about the article.

  1. A letter from Coach K

Jenni Carlson wrote a touching piece in The Oklahoman this week about an Oklahoma woman who received a responding letter from Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski (by the way, I’m impressed his name passed spellcheck on Word. “Eekhoff” and “Zylstra” never do.).

Linda St. Onge wrote the famous coach after he spent quality time talking with her father at the funeral of legendary OSU basketball coach Henry Iba. Two weeks later, Coach K replied.

I don’t know if you need a web subscription to read the article, but you can check it out here.

  1. St. Patrick’s Day follow-up

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, and ever since I visited Ireland five years ago, the annual holiday seems to mean more to me. Last year, I re-shared a DHD I wrote awhile back about St. Patrick, so I thought I would mention it again this year.

Check out my reflections on St. Patrick’s here.

  1. Youth minister shortage features an eye-opening article from Baptist Press with the title “Why there is a shortage of youth ministers and what can be done about it.”

It’s another article you should check out. Messenger editor Brian Hobbs made a comment about this write-up, “That article is telling… we have had more youth/student ministry employment classified ads placed in The Messenger in recent days than ever, or at least in my time here.”

I went through the employment classified ads in the March 10 edition of the Baptist Messenger. Of the 48 ads listed in this section, 20 of them related to youth/student ministry positions.

  1. Caring for an aging loved one

I finish with sharing one more article from 2013. Chris Finley, director of chaplain services for Baptist Village Communities, wrote a helpful guide on how to care for aging loved ones. The guidance he offers was helpful for me as I cared for my mother before she died in 2019. If you are in a place caring for a parent or family member who is in need of extra care, consider reading Finley’s article, “Beyond the care of an aging loved one.”