Draining shot after shot, snatching steals, flying for rebounds the excitement that amplifies the love I have for the game. I eat, sleep, and breathe basketball. If I am not playing it, I am watching it, and if I am not doing those things I am most likely asleep dreaming about it. Basketball is life. Basketball made me realize I can achieve anything, but I have to work hard at it. As the great Michael Jordan once said ‘I can never stop working hard. Each day I feel like I have to improve. Hardwork’Determination’I got to keep pushing myself.’
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In my years of playing basketball I have gained confidence, commitment, and understanding of teamwork, not just on the basketball court, but in life as well. I could remember as if it was yesterday, my life started to change. I was playing basketball in gym class. Coach watching every move I make, how fast I was, how quick I was, and just by looking at my face he could tell what my mind set was. After class, he had a conversation with me. It was actually the first time we had a conversation. We talked until the bell rung. He asked me about my life of basketball. I told him that I love basketball and nothing makes me happier. He smiled for a second, and then he told me I should try out for the team. I have a spot for you. Wow, I never thought in a million years that I would be standing in this position. I didn’t believe a word he said about me, but he was a coach and I took it as a compliment. By the way I had nothing to lose at that time, so I decided to go to tryouts. It was a rough day, but I had no pressure on me because coach already told me I had a spot on the team. I started high school basketball with every intention to fail. I failed over and over again and by now I thought that failing will teach me to succeed.
My career all started when I was in ninth grade. Everyone was older than me and they were bigger than me. They were smarter and I thought I wasn’t smart at the time. That’s when I realized at that moment I would have to do whatever it takes to succeed. For me, I thought it was impossible. I love basketball, so I took the challenge of trying in school. I never had to work hard like this before. If you want something bad enough, you will go after it. I always dreamed of this day and now I finally get my chance to be more than just some person. Conditioning was tough, but I fought and fought and now I’m finally getting to live my dream on the basketball court. I can remember it was my first high school game ever. From then on, every time I stepped a foot in the gym, I felt the adrenaline rush hit me, but I was nervous, too. The vibrations, the excitement, and the cheering, I never knew how this felt before. I have a team behind me and they have been through this stage before. A team to me is like a family. People you have to look after, protect, and never let down.
The year after that, I don’t know what I thinking or what I was to believe in. I went to coach and told him that I don’t want to play this year. He had a long talk with me. I didn’t think I could take on the responsibility of having a job, school, and basketball. I had so much pressure put on me and at that moment I finally gave up. I let my down when I did that and I regret it every single day. My team needed me and I was no where to be found. I don’t know what its like, but if somebody left when I needed them it would hurt me. I walked into the old gym every single day for gym class, watching what I’m missing out on. I quit, but the love of the game is still in me. I tried everything in my power to forget about it. I tried putting down the basketball for a while, but it didn’t work because everywhere I go a basketball is in my hands. I went the whole year regretting and hating myself for what I did.
I started to miss basketball and being on the team. So this year passed me by and I knew that I would never forget what I did. I left that behind me and went talk to coach. He understood why I quit and how much pressure can be on one person. He then said that he will take me back. I was so happy and this was my junior year. I was so excited to play again. A basketball game is not just a bunch of people bouncing a ball. It’s more than that. In basketball you have to make wise decisions just like life. Making your own decision is apart of life. I learned life lessons from the game of basketball. I learned not to hold my head down and keep my head up. Basketball gave me confidence. After missing that one year, I knew how much I missed it when I came back. I was not going to let my team down. We started the season up and I was determined to make my statement that I was back. This year was my most exciting year of basketball. We made it to the playoffs and what a game it was. I can feel my adrenaline rush and the excitement and the vibrations of the gym. The crowd cheering for every possession we had. It was like a dream come true to have all them people behind you. We lost that game, but I will never forget that even though we failed to win. To me, there are not any losers. As long as we tried our best as far as I’m concerned we were winners.
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My senior year was not a good year. We won like 7 games. I still had a lot of fun enjoying the last moment of my life with this team. They made me feel like I could fly. They started to trust in me and that’s what I learned about trust. Its not that u have to believe someone, it’s that you trust them to make the right decisions. I believe my teammate made the right decision. It was the last home game of my career. The crowd chanting lions as loud as can be. I battled the whole game since I knew it was my last. We played Doyle and they beat us the first time. They were up by two points with eight seconds left on the clock and we were in a rush with no timeouts left. I thought Brenden was about to pull a Kobe Bryant move. Then, at the blink of an eye he passed the ball to me. I never have been under so much pressure in my life. I didn’t want to let anyone down and this is when I starting believing in myself. I shot the ball at the buzzer and the sound going into the net never sound any better than before. The crowd cheering we won by one point. It was the most exciting moment of my life and I will never forget what basketball made who I am today. I starting crying because it was the last time I would set foot in that gym again, the last time I will walk out that gym with my jersey on. I learned a lot and I thank everyone for making it possible for me to believe.
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