There is nothing quite so inspiring — for those of us, shall we say, of middle age — as seeing the accomplishments of the young people around us.
While that manifests itself in many ways, from Eagle Scouts to extraordinary volunteerism to those accepted in the service academies, there is always a special place in our hearts for the accomplishments in high school team sports.
We are, of course, talking about three very special basketball teams in Cambridge, Glens Falls and Lake George.
All three will be aiming to win state championships this weekend, and many of us will be looking on in awe and wonder.
We realize other athletes and other teams have also competed at the state level, but it just seems more of a community event when it happens in basketball. We will call it the “Hoosiers” factor.
The Cambridge girls are a textbook example of a young team that was not expected to make it this far. They have come together and now have a chance of doing the incredible by winning a state championship.
The Lake George boys know something about defying those odds as well. For at least two members of the Lake George team, this is their third straight trip to the state tournament in Binghamton. Lake George went all the way last year and is riding a 54-game win streak over two years.
It is perfect.
Lastly, there is Glens Falls, which will be making its fifth trip to the state tournament, but the first trip outside the city limits.
Glens Falls has a rich history of outstanding basketball, but we have not seen anything like what we’ve seen over the past five years with the play of Joseph Girard III, who was just named “Mr. Basketball” in New York state.
If you have not heard of Girard, better known as “JG3,” then we suspect you have been living under a rock somewhere. His scoring exploits have been prodigious and college coaches across the nation sought his services before he finally settled on Syracuse University.
But what has been especially satisfying to see as the post-season evolved these past few weeks is how Girard’s supporting cast has rallied around him with their rebounding, defense and even a little scoring.
Many of the same players were part of Glens Falls’ state football championship in the fall, so adding a basketball ring would be an accomplishment above and beyond anything ever seen before.
It is a good weekend to be a local basketball fan, but even more importantly, it is a great weekend to relish in the accomplishments of these young people.
They make us all proud.