That's just grace

Staff Writer

I knew there was something special about her. I could tell instantly.
I was sent to Bellmont to take some shots of the volleyball team during the pre-season. Coach Craig Krull gave me total access. One-by-one I snapped mug shots. Finally Grace Hunter came through the line.
Just a sophomore, she acted like she owned the world. Not cocky, just a style that said “I’m in control.” Poise is probably the word.
Not arrogant, just an air of all about business even if that business is fun.
She smiles, looks at me.
“You want me to take your picture?” she quips.
I thought it was a joke. I ignored it.
“Do you want me to take your picture,” she giggled.
I figure why not.
It goes something like this:
She says, “Smile ... Like really smile.”
“That’s not a smile.”
Like a master photographer with a reluctant child, she coaxes it out of me.
“See I knew you had it in you!”
She toys with a few poses. Laughs more. The whole exchange took probably three minutes. Giggling the whole time. Finally heads back to the huddle.
Turns out she also loves to take photos. I was the scratch to that itch.
I told Krull about it. He just laughs.
“What can I say ... That’s just Grace.”
I didn’t know it yet. But, I quickly learned that Grace was top-notch in about everything she did. The stats backed it up.
I’m glad she didn’t want to challenge me to a game. I’d clearly lose.
Basketball was the same way, if not more so. We all know the numbers. We’ve read the stories. I’ve written a couple of them. I won’t bore you with all those details.
Fast forward to the next basketball season. Bellmont is at Garrett.
She’s had a career game something like 30 points, about eight rebounds and similar numbers for assists. She’s clearly the star of the game.
I bump into her on the sidelines. I say hi, she says hi. Then I joke, “I don’t get a photo this time?”
She smiles brightly and pronounces “Oh yes of course!”
She then proceeds to takes my camera and I motion towards my daughter.
“Great idea!” Grace says. Without hesitating, the Squaw begins talking to my then seven year old daughter. My daughter is beaming.
I’m surprised, but after knowing how ... graceful Grace is, I shouldn’t be.
She pointed my camera at my daughter and CLICK.
The photo is hanging in my home.
The point, Grace wanted to spend time with my daughter more than receive the praise of a massive game, or tally her stats.
For one moment, she shifted the focus to my daughter.
That’s just grace … literally. A name well fitting.