Where are the words...

Posted by Alex W.C. on 8:38 PM

Father. Fan. Writer. Friend.

  When describing friendships, sometimes I can be at a loss for words. So, I decided that I would try to describe a particular friendship that I have by describing how I see this person – and this person is Stephen Litel.

  Stephen and I first “met” via twitter in 2009, when I had just announced my now infamous journey, reminding me to make sure to stop by press row and say hi when I was in Minny.  I assured him that I would.

  During that voyage in 2009, upon my arrival to the Target center I was then greeted by one Mr. Stephen Litel. We instantly bonded over WNBA chat and how my trip had gone thus far. Post-game, we continued our chat a local eatery with other Lynx fans. It was a quick visit, but still a memorable one.

Me, "reflecting" on meeting Stephen at the Target center in Minneapolis.
  It would be later on facebook that I would get to know more about Stephen, particularly the two things he is most fond of – his son and daughter. Obviously a very proud papa, he often posted pictures of his kids whenever he could get the chance, and brag about them as well. If you follow Stephen on facebook, you know exactly what I am talking about. It is the kind of pride that speaks to his character as a father – something I wish more fathers in this world would aspire to.

A playful "photo-shopped" rendition of Stephen after a twitter banter about  mustaches. 

  When the idea came to write a book about my journey, I called upon Stephen to contribute. He was more than willing and after a read of the rough draft (quite rough as a matter of fact) he sent me the review that I used for the back cover. The one thing I really loved about it was that it was quite objective and honest – and a few kind words didn't hurt either.

Stephen pointing to one of his finer works that adorns the back cover of my book. 
 This past July I was planning a journey on a smaller scale, one that would conclude in Minnesota. However, the day before I was to head out to the twin cities, I got a call from Stephen, and it wasn't good news. For reasons I cannot get into in this blog, he told me that he would not be able to make the game that I was attending.  I was somewhat consoled when we agreed to meet for lunch the next day. It was that afternoon over a very tasty bloody mary, that Stephen not only shared with me the situation he was facing, but that he was also considering hanging up his media credential…for good.

  It was after the reasons he gave, two of them to be exact, that it became perfectly clear what his priorities were.  He expressed how he was realizing that his children were only going to be young once, and it was time to do some reporting of a different kind, by taking the time to witness his children grow up. Just can’t argue with that.

  I assured Stephen that whatever he chose, I would be behind him, 100%. A few weeks later, I read the blog post that I knew was inevitable, but I was happy that he found peace.

Stephen is one of our own – a tireless supporter of the WNBA, a hard working dad, and a friend to all those alike.  His words will be missed by fans, and no doubt, the athletes in this league will miss his support. 

  This is not a goodbye, but a hello to a new chapter of life for Stephen. You can read up on Stephen at: http://stephenlitel.wordpress.com/.  Best wishes to you man; your words will be missed, but not forgotten.
Stephen and I, 7/7/2012


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