This week I did a story on a senior at St. Francis High School and her ability to succeed on the court even when her biggest fan was no longer there to cheer her on from the stands.
The bond between a father and daughter is something special and unique. Although Jennifer Lucian was one of six kids, her father Guy had a very special relationship with her that was strengthen through their mutual love of basketball.
Growing up, Jennifer was not the best athlete, but wanted more than anything to excel in the sport of basketball so she worked relentlessly at improving her game. Her father was right there with her every step of the way; coaching and instructing her. Even though Jennifer did not see a lot of playing time, her father still traveled to every single one of her games and was always there afterwards to tell her what she needed to work on.
Eventually, the hard work began to show through her play on the court. She was earning more minutes and her self confidence was at an all-time high. Going into her senior year at St. Francis High School it was clear that Jennifer had finally worked her way into the starting lineup and no one was more excited than her father.
On Oct. 8, 2012, Jennifer woke up just like any other day, said goodbye to her father and headed to school. At the time she did not know that would be the last time she would speak to him. When she returned home she discovered him unresponsive on the floor.
Guy Lucian died suddenly of a heart attack.
Jennifer was devastated. Her father, her biggest fan, was gone. Jennifer and her squad would go on to have one of the most successful years in the program's history, making it all the way to the Division II State Championship game.
Not only Jennifer, but the rest of her team realized that Jennifer's father definitely had something to do with their improbable run and know that even though he has passed on, there is nobody happier with the success of Jennifer and her team that Guy.