What would you have to get to dribble a ball for 54 hours straight?
That was the most popular question surrounding the “Bounce With the Suns” dribble-athon that took place this past week on the Bud Light Paseo of US Airways Center. Mike Ornoski, an Electrical and INC Supervisor for the City of Phoenix, dribbled a basketball for nearly 54 hours to win an all-expense paid road trip with the Suns next season.
If you watched any of the webcast, you probably know Ornoski’s story. The day before the competition started, he even questioned whether he was going to show up for the 8 a.m. tip-off on Sunday. But he was driven by a deeper motivation.
He was doing it for his son.
He wanted his son to enjoy a treat that he had experienced as a kid growing up in Phoenix. When Ornoski was 13, he had won a contest to sit on the bench with the Suns players during a game.
It was something that has stayed with him to this day, and that experience created a feeling he wanted to pass along to his son.
But it wasn’t as if he did it alone.
His wife was on hand for all but five hours of the competition. Whenever Ornoski would head to his five-minute break after two hours of dribbling, his wife would massage his sore muscles with Flexall and nourish him with a cooler full of healthy snacks.
“Team Ornoski” grew over the hours, with other family members showing up with fresh supplies and chiming in with fan support on the Suns.com chat from around the world. It was an operation that literally was working around the clock.
Employing a little gamesmanship at the end on the contest, Ornoski overheard what his last competitor might take to forgo his chances at winning the road trip, passing that information along to the staff on hand. When the staff offered the “bribe” to the last competitor, he accepted, allowing Ornoski to win the road trip.
Like anyone who watched these dribblers go on for hours, you couldn’t help but start to ponder what incentive you would need to put yourself through such a grueling, physical test. What sort of motivation would drive you to sacrifice your health for 54 hours?
As you continued to watch, you couldn’t help but notice that the last few standing had a deeper purpose to what they were doing. It wasn’t about them; it was about “who” they were doing it for.
And isn’t that what sports is about? Isn’t it about someone putting a higher cause before his own?
And isn’t it about coming away from an event feeling inspired to do the same in your life? If so, it appears that “Bounce With the Suns” might deserve some consideration as a sport.