For the last year or so, a group of us have gathered at 5:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays to play basketball in my high school alma mater's gym.
We've dubbed it "Old Man Basketball".
Mostly mid-30s to young 40s type guys, with a few young bucks (upper 20s) sprinkled in to make us feel even older.
It's the same gym I walked my then high school sweetheart, now wife into for senior prom my senior year of high school. She was a freshman in college, you can make fun of her later. Or tell me how cool I was for bringing a college girl.
It's the same gym where I did a choreographed dance with the rest of the senior football players and the senior pompom girls. My dance partner that day now has a son that plays on my son's baseball and basketball teams. Her husband plays with us in the mornings.
It's the same gym that I watched one of our best friends win a wrestling district title, a guy who plays with us in the mornings now.
It's the same gym where a lanky sophomore gave me all I could handle my senior year of basketball practice, you guessed it -- he plays with us now too.
It's the same gym where Brandon Lloyd (NFL wide receiver) stole the ball from me and about broke our backboard dunking so hard. The guy who tried to stop his breakaway dunk plays too.
Old men now. Most of us have been out of high school as long as we were old when we graduated.
Of the 10 that play on any given Tuesday or Thursday morning, 6-8 of them were high school buddies.
You can chalk that up to lame Kansas City guys that never moved too far from home. Possible.
But as I've grown older, I've become more aware that friendships like this didn't happen by accident. They happened little by little, in lots of small unnoticed moments.
In fact, if you pinned me down and forced me to name my best friends, at least 50 percent of the closest friends in my entire life spent time with me in that same gym during high school in some form or fashion.
Guys that have seen me at my best. And most certainly at my worst.
Guys that stood in a long line next to me on my wedding day and promised to beat my ass if I didn't hold up my end of this wedding deal.
Guys that married other girls from our same high school, either immediately after college or years down the road.
As our kids knock on the door of high school in the next few years, it terrifies me and excites me at the same time.
The friends they allow into their inner most circle, odds are, will become key parts of their own stories in the decades to come.
Just this morning, as we neared the end of our old man game, one of my buddies joked, "I'm sure you're going to blog about this somehow."
"You just gave me a great topic my man."
Show me the five people you spend the most time with and I'll show you your future.