I’m sure that I’m not the only one who was a bit sluggish yesterday having stayed up too late to watch the NCAA men’s basketball championship game — and to re-watch the final shot over and over again.

[If you didn’t see the game, you must watch the last play here]

There were many well-deserved accolades for Kris Jenkins who hit the basket of a lifetime. But if you watch the clip again, you’ll notice that praise also should be heaped on the set-up man, Ryan Arcidiacono who got the ball down the court and tossed Kris the perfect pass.

Only the sports junkies will even remember Ryan’s name, just as few can account for who threw Christian Laettner the ball for his miracle shot in the 1992 regional tournament. But these men behind the scenes made the glory possible.

Not everyone can have the ball, but all of us can play a role in helping our team win. Maybe it is by being a great assist player or rebounder. Perhaps it involves cheering from the bench. Maybe you’re the guy who wipes the sweat off the court during time outs. Or even a fan in the stands cheering your squad on. 

The Villanova players said: “This is for all the guys who went before us.” Don’t discount all the guys (and girls) who went along side you, too, and especially the Ryans for being just two steps ahead of you when you needed them to be there the most. 

A team encompasses many more than those who suit up for a game. Take care to acknowledge everyone who assists with your wins.

— beth triplett

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