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The building of the new website for Midwest Finest Basketball is basically over, if a website like ours is ever finished, and that has now allowed some time to reflect on the circumstances that created this ordeal, and to fully understand that this was actually a very good thing.
I say that because when I built the old website over three years ago, it happened at a time when I had to transition from one site building software platform to the SportsEngine site building software, which involved learning a new site building language on the fly. It was sort of like writing all your life in English and then without any learning curve, having to now compose everything in French. Consequently, some parts of the old website were built in such a way that prevented us from taking full advantage of some of the existing functionality I didn’t know the SportsEngine platform had. With my three-plus years experience of site building and updating on the SportsEngine platform, I was much more capable of creating a better, more useful and easier-to-navigate site, and one that took full advantage of all the features at our disposal.
During the building of the new website, there really wasn’t the time to do much of anything other than sit at the computer for basically three days straight and type code. But now that it’s built, my reflection on the circumstances that caused it has put a much finer focus, in a most striking way, the fundamental differences between those who run our organization and the individual who wanted to prevent us from operating it.
A simple truth to come from this which was most satisfying, was the way that our parents responded. From the moment the “email” went out, all the way through the parent’s efforts to get the removal of all our personal and player photos and information from the old website, our parents reacted instantaneously and with great ferocity! I was very proud and grateful for the show of loyalty and support.
But what is really at the heart of all this, and is most clear to me when thinking through this whole ordeal, is the fundamental and strikingly different philosophies of the two individuals at the head of the two organizations.
With Lee Larkins, what you see is what you get. Lee is fully and wholeheartedly dedicated to the youth of the community and to the girls within the real Midwest Finest Basketball organization. Lee’s whole life revolves around the youth of his own community. Lee does all he can to help them learn what it takes for them to move towards their life’s goals and dreams and to be successful. You can see it every day in the work he does as a Guidance Councilor at Mt. Vernon High School or through his incredibly time-consuming efforts he puts into running Midwest Finest Basketball and all the individual workouts he has with many student-athletes around the central Indiana area. His caring for these kids is unconditional and undeniable!
Contrast that against the individual who attempted to keep us from doing what we do. Just a quick look at what he has deleted and what he has kept visible on our old website can tell you everything about his character and intentions going forward. From his first feeble attempt to high-jack our club by sending out emails saying Lee and I were no longer affiliated with Midwest Finest Basketball, to his deleting all the goal poster program stuff, all the community service stuff, all of the things that stand our program out from all others, was deleted. He then altered all the information we had pertaining to Our Mission, Our Story, Contact Us, etc. and made it reflect information that was all about him.
What was most telling about who he is and what his intentions were, was when he left the photos of our tournament winning teams on the front page in an attempt to validate his organization. The same thing was attempted with him leaving our 2019 tournament schedule and tournament pages up on the old website, to show that his “teams” would be playing this coming season. He even left the information we had regarding past season tournament results to try to show longevity to “his” program.
In checking back with the old website just today, I see that he has added back our old calendar info, again trying to deceive everyone into thinking he actually has teams and a practice schedule, and I see that he has finally removed the team photos of our tournament winning teams after our persistent complaining to the web host. The reality is he has no teams, he has no players, he has no coaches, he has no anyone….it is just him and our old website. His sole purpose is to run tournaments and make money for himself. He was hoping he could use us to pull it off! It didn’t work….