What Scottie Reynolds Knows
Scottie Reynolds is no doubt on ‘cloud nine’ right about now. Earlier tonight he hit the game winning shot with less than one second remaining in the East Regional Final of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament to send the Villanova Wildcats to the Final Four. Given the stage on which he was playing and the fact that the game was against the No. 1 ranked Pitt Panthers and was by all accounts a true classic, the shot by Reynolds will be replayed again and again for years to come – and will likely come to define what has been a stellar college basketball career.
But neither this shot nor this game, and not even basketball in general, comes close to defining Scottie Reynolds. Who he is and his story is far more complex and multi-faceted than any sports writer can capture, although this article (written today but before the game against Pitt) chronicles well some of Reynolds’ journey thus far.
Scottie was adopted by his parents, Rick and Pam Reynolds, as an infant. Like most adoptees, as he grew older Scottie found himself with many questions about his birthmother and about his past. With the help of his parents, several years ago Scottie was able to contact the adoption agency in Alabama that placed him for adoption where he found some information about his birthmother and the circumstances surrounding his adoption. Since then he has obtained contact information for his birthmother, but he has yet to contact her. He plans to do so when he feels the time is right for both of them.
Life’s road hasn’t been easy or even kind to Scottie at each turn. In the rough and tumble environment of major college basketball, opposing fans, familiar with Scottie’s adoption story, have resorted to cruel chants of “Scottie doesn’t know” as a way to try to get inside his head and throw him off. According to his coach it doesn’t phase him, and his performance on the court seems to certainly bear that out.
The reality, however, is that Scottie does know some very important things – things that are far more important than wins and losses, game winning shots or even making it to the Final Four. In a recent interview he said, “I think every person has their own story. Mine has been a journey of a whole lot of different things all rolled in one. It hasn’t all been bad. It hasn’t all been terrible. I’m actually thankful for the situation I’ve been put in.” And in an interview during his senior year of high school he said, “Everybody that knows me knows that [my faith] comes first. It hasn’t changed for 18 years. By me having faith, I can overcome a lot.”
It is clear that Scottie knows well who he is and what’s most important in life. Stories will continue to be written pointing to Scottie’s adoption story and personal journey as something that he has somehow had to overcome. It seems to me, however, that his adoption journey has been the blessing that has helped to redeem his past, make his present possible and prepare him for a promising future. As an adoptive dad, Scottie’s perspective is one that I hope and pray my kids will someday share as they seek to make sense of their broken past and move forward in faith to all that God has in store for them.