Pro and college teams hire coaches every off season, that’s nothing new. The reason the University of Houston hiring Jamila Ganter is special is because she’s my niece. Words can’t express how proud I am of her, but I’m going to try. When she was a star point guard in our hometown of Texarkana, I would often take credit for her being so good. When she earned a scholarship to Texas A&M, I felt just like Jesus Shuttleworth’s uncle in “He Got Game”. I believe playing sports with my nephews and me made her tough, and since I was the oldest, I deserve the majority of the credit. Now that my nonsense is out of the way, I can talk about how everyone knew that Mila was special.
She did play football with us when she was 5 or 6 years old. My favorite thing to was to hit her feet and make her trip herself. After a short time of this bullying, she stopped falling. She turned into the best 5 or 6 year old running back in the neighborhood. After football, she graduated to wrestling. I used to put her in the Figure Four, but her legs were so short, she could always get out of it. She would often climb on the back of the couch and fly off of the “top turnbuckle”. She was fearless. She drop kicked her older brother once and he fell on a glass and broke it. Shortly after his stitches, our wresting careers started to wind down. This is around the time basketball came into play.
I was far from a great player, but when playing little girls, I was awesome. When it came to playing against little girls, Mila was awesome. When it came to playing against little boys, Mila was awesome. When it came to playing against older girls and boys, Mila was awesome. I remember one day we went to a court near our neighborhood. I was 17, Mila was 7. We played some boys who were probably 12 and 13. All I did was feed her the ball. She was like Prince playing Charlie Murphy. Once the little knuckleheads got too embarrassed and tried to get rough, that’s when I came in. Again, I’m awesome when picking on someone not my own size.
Shortly after this, I graduated and started my adult life. My sister would send me articles and pictures and they were always the highlights that made me a little jealous and a lot proud. I finally saw her play live when Texas A&M came to Boulder. It was one of the proudest moments of my life. Now as she embarks on this new journey, I have no doubt that she is going to crush this opportunity just as she has crushed every other opportunity that she has earned.