To my daughter, Savannah...
...OK. So, I don’t actually have a daughter, but if I did her name would definitely be Savannah. I’m writing this because I'm at a point in my life where having a child and/or getting married is expected. A lot of my former teammates either have kids or are expecting or aren't scared to have one in the next couple of years.
And then there’s me.
I’m currently coaching guys I used to play with and interviewing guys I used to coach. It’s like I skipped my 20’s and got dealt back into life at the age of 35.
My name is Darryl “D.Rey” Reynolds and Dylan Ennis is one of those aforementioned teammates that recently started a family by marrying his college sweetheart and having a daughter. She’s adorable and is already like many of us a fan of Starbucks.
Anyway, everything has changed since the days when Dylan and I were roommates at Villanova, even though I'm still single and kid-less. In 2016, I won a National Championship with Villanova and the following year, Dylan took a trip to the Final Four with his team, the Oregon Ducks. We actually had the same pre-draft workout for the Sixers and ended up playing our first professional year a short flight apart in Europe. I’m pretty sure Dylan, like most players, would agree that something in you changes when you start your professional career. Obviously your body and bank accounts change. But what I'm talking about is that day you realize the only thing that could make things better is a spouse and a child who both make you realize how valuable time really is.
I say "valuable" instead of "limited" because kids (especially kids) have a way of showing us the weight of giving our undivided attention to someone. They show us that time spent and time wasted are a matter of choice, not life’s push or pull.
They show us that every mistake is cemented, but second chances do exist. They make you young again, they make you reevaluate the way you view the world.
But what intrigues me the most is the way people with kids, no matter how happy they appear to be -- they ALWAYS warn their peers to NOT have kids.
I’m just going to call it now. I’m that guy who is bound to have a daughter first. As the oldest of five -- the three closest siblings to me being females -- it's quick math that I'll end up with a little girl whose attitude will be as bad as mine was.
I picked the name Savannah for my daughter’s name because I love how you really don’t know who’s going to show with the name Savannah Reynolds...it’s one of the most dramatic, yet graceful names I could think of.
I see myself as that dad that’s going to be inseparable from his kid; every time you see me you’ll see her, holding my hand and grilling everyone she doesn’t know. I’ll be the dad that takes pride in helping with school projects (for the sake of her being the coolest kid) and that father who makes breakfast every time I get a chance. I’ll wake her up in my robe and du-rag, singing into a spatula with loud music playing, the same way my dad did. I’ll take her to school whenever I can and convince her that “Florence” by Loyle Carner and “Violent Crimes” by Kanye was written for us. I’ll greet her first date with an overly aggressive handshake accompanied by a cold "hey" and a look that says: I watched every season of How to Get Away with Murder. Her first car will be a hooptie, but please believe she will be the flyest of them all. I’ll tell corny dad jokes that’ll make her roll her eyes and embarrass her in front of her friends.
She will also have to play a sport or an instrument or both -- this isn’t up for debate! I want her to be that girl that has a good mix of older friends (who are on their P’s and Q’s) and younger friends who look up to her like the big sister type she was literally born to be.
I’ll love her. I’ll adore her. I'll help her inflate her wildest dreams, but I won’t shield her from this world. Instead, I'll prepare her to be one of those people that wakes up every morning to improve it...fully aware of what it is, but optimistic of what it could be.
So to Ms. Savannah Reynolds, your mother and I think the world of you already. And to answer your question: yes...if you kiss a boy before y’all are married you will 100% turn into an avocado. I've seen it happen plenty of times.
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