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Hoops Help from the Hereafter

Read about a daughter’s special connection to her deceased dad.

A sepia photo of a weathered basketball and a pair of feet in high-tops

One rainy afternoon my boyfriend and I stepped into an antique shop. Bill was looking for vintage car advertisements. “Check my old magazines,” the owner said. He brought out an armload.

I grabbed the one with the word “basketball” printed across the top. I flipped through the pages, thinking of my father, who had died eight years before. He’d played center for Manhattan College, then spent 30 years as a high school basketball coach.

Every year Dad and I predicted which team would win the NCAA title. This year, I filled in tournament brackets with friends. It wasn’t as much fun filling in brackets without Dad.

I turned a weathered page. A familiar face looked out at me from a photograph in the old magazine. Then I saw the caption: Ed O’Connor. My father, as a young player!

“That’s my dad!” I yelled.

“No kidding!” the shopkeeper said. “It’s yours. No charge.”

That night the team I’d picked won the title. Perhaps I’d had help with my predictions after all.


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