Why I Understand What Is

By Khalid Elahi

Do you know what love, loyalty and dedication is? I’ll tell you.

In 2005, my brother and I reported to Richmond Steelers summer training camp on July 29, and we trained our guys up real hard because, at the time, we were going for our sixth straight state title. Our first game was Aug. 21, and our squad was foaming at the mouth to play.

At 3 a.m. the day of our first game, I got a call: “Lid, Way got shot.”

Almost 10 seconds later, the phone rang again.

“Lid, he gone!”

I had four or five of our players in our living room at the time of the call, and I didn’t want them to know right then that their coach, and my brother, Waleed was killed.

I went to the scene, took the sheet off his face and there he lay, lifeless.

I left the scene, in complete control of myself because now the hardest job I had to do was to tell my mother. I went to my mother’s house, consoled her for a while, and I remembered I still had Richmond Steeler babies at the house. I get back and told the babies, and they totally lost it.

Check this out: I showered and prepped for the game like I’ve always done.

Long story short, I went and coached the game the same morning my brother was killed because we gave our word that we wouldn’t let nothing interfere with our jobs as coaches, and we expected our players to do the same.

We punished whoever we played that day.

I knew then that they don’t make ‘em like me.

I know I taught that team at least one thing: your word should be bond to your life.

I know what was, and that’s why I understand what is.

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