There is nothing quite like the sound of a basketball crowd.

There is nothing quite like the sound of a basketball crowd.

One of my favorite things is covering a game when my brother is refereeing. We don’t look anything alike so very few people actually know we are related.

Because of that, I like to join the crowd and boo him.

“Call it both ways, ref!” There’s always a call it both ways voice in the crowd.

One of the best sounds in a basketball gym is when a player makes a big play. In most gyms, the home team has one side and the visitors get to sit across from them. From the vantage point on the floor, the sound of one side going completely silent while the other side erupts with screams and applauds is an incredible dynamic.

But not Tuesday night in Dale. As Coach Josh Forsythe put Emily Chesser in the game, the fans of both teams cheered.

The initial cheers were entirely eclipsed by the incredible roar when her shot found the bottom of the net.

Emily didn’t silence the visiting crowd with her great shot though. The fans from Oklahoma Christian School were just as excited as the Dale fans. The OCS players were also cheering her on and clapping on the floor.

It was an amazing thing to see. Coach Forsythe worked with the OCS coach who welcomed the idea. His team was obviously glad to get to be part of Emily’s moment too. Emily’s shot took opponents and made them allies. For one moment, everyone in that gymnasium wanted the same thing.

That’s pretty powerful.

Emily won’t be an all-stater. She was born with physical and mental challenges that make that impossible. Doctors told her family she would never be able to walk or talk.

Thanks to good fortune, medical expertise, and the love and support of her family, she can do both. Not only can she walk, she shoots baskets for hours every day.

That was obvious when she took her first shot. She got a bad bounce or she would have scored on her first try. She nailed it on her third try and was given one of the biggest ovations the gym at Dale has ever seen.

Emily was on the bench with her team for the rest of the game and she hung around in the bleachers for the boys’ game too. She loves playing basketball, but she also loves watching it. She wondered if Thunder stars Steven Adams and Russell Westbrook would be at the game when she found out she was getting to play Tuesday night.

They were busy with their own game in Oklahoma City, but I think if they had been there they would have been pretty proud.

I was proud to get to see it. It is hard to quantify how great it was to see both coaches, both teams and both crowds coming together to support a person.

Teenagers always get criticized. A few bad apples always seem to be responsible for the reputation an entire generation is stuck with. It was true many, many, many years ago when I was a teenager and it’s still true today.

This week, I have had a chance to interview about a half dozen teenagers and I can tell you each of them was well-spoken, kind and thoughtful. Don’t sell this group short. Us old folks like to romanticize the good old days and talk about what we were like. Most of our parents would giggle if they heard how we described ourselves. These kids are going to be just fine. If you give them a chance to do great things, they will. They proved that Tuesday night.

Don’t worry. Things got back to normal when the game started again. The “call it both ways” crowd came back and both teams did all they could to get the win.

But for one brief moment, everyone came together. That was Emily’s Moment. I’m glad she shared it with all of us.