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« FIPS DAILY ALMANAC: Friday, February 3, 2012 | Main | A FiPS Guide To The Ultimate Super bowl Snacks »
Friday
Feb032012

And The Park Slope Parent of the Year Award Goes To... 

Photo via http://ctkhoops.d1scout.com

...Omar and Semara Calhoun.

New York Magazine profiles the Calhoun Family, who live in Park Slope, because their kids --Omar, Jr. and Sierra --just so happen to be high school basketball superstars.

Omar, Jr. is a senior at Christ the King High School in Queens, and his younger sister, Sierra, is a sophomore in the formidable basketball program at that same school.

The article is definitely worth a read, particularly if you're looking for a primer on how to raise two grounded, considerate, smart kids in an extremely competitive environment of elite high school basketball, where corrupting influences lurk around every corner.

I don't really know a whole lot about basketball, to be honest.  But when you read a paragraph like this about Sierra Calhoun, penned by a recruiter, you don't need to understand exactly what they're saying to know that she's a damned good player:

Each time we see this 6-foot perimeter standout she plays with more confidence and maturity. Physically she's growing into a made-to-order, top-tier college prospect with both size and athleticism. Her comfort level with the ball in her hands is obvious, and she's not as hesitant to put it on the floor and attack as she seemed back in December. She elevates well on her jumper and when the consistency comes to her touch defenders will have to make tough decisions. As impressive as her offensive prospects are, she could become a lethal defender with a combination of size, speed and strength that's hard to find and causes major matchup problems against smaller backcourts. 

Um. Yeah.  These two kids have entire pages on ESPN's website devoted to them, and their prospects for college and beyond. When Omar, Jr. decided to go to school at the University of Connecticut, people wrote articles about it. These two are a big effin' deal. That's crazy to me. As though raising a couple of kids in New York City isn't terrifying enough, these parent have all of this 'High School Basketball Superstar' pressure layered on top of it.

It's why it's all the more remarkable that they've kept their kids insulated without being isolated.  The Calhoun siblings aren't on Twitter or Facebook. The family hasn't been bribed with cars and money. In fact, Omar, Sr. lost his Wall Street job last year, and since getting laid off, they've been living on Semara's teacher's salary, while Omar, Sr. focuses on his kids' budding basketball careers full-time.

So, maybe that's the answer?  If you've got over-achieving high school sports stars, do you have to make it a full-time job to protect your kids?

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