When I was four, I received my first Fisher Price basketball court. The court was in my house and the basket was only five feet tall. My parents placed it in the living room since it was the only room in the house without carpet. I practiced shooting every day. I would wear my father’s sneakers and imitate basketball moves that I had seen on T.V. At that age, I did not yet have any self-awareness about my potential for the sport, but my father knew it was very likely to become a passion. By the age of five, my father was taking me out to the park with a basketball and I can actually remember the day I made my first basket. After that, I went on to play in basketball leagues, as well as work out with my father in gyms every night. Those were the best of times.
Basketball became an important thread in my life and eventually proved to help guide the decisions I made for my future. I had to do a lot of hard work in the beginning, but it was worth it because it paved the way for me to have the opportunity to play at the college level. When practices are hard now and the demands of being a college athlete seem overwhelming, thinking back to my earliest basketball memories gives me happiness and keeps me going.
Some of the reasons I love basketball are because it is challenging, helps me improve myself as a person, and teaches me a lot about life. In this sport, I have learned how to mentally prepare myself for hardships. When I am in a game and down two points with only a few seconds left on the clock, I know exactly which play to run. I also know how to use what energy I have left in my body and mental...
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... I can hear the fans chanting, yelling, and cheering for my team. When I make a shot and they cheer for me, I get the feeling of being liked, or even loved, by other people. When fans come up to me after games, say my name and tell me I had a good game, I get happy. Naturally, smiles come to my face when the younger kids tell me they look up to me and want to be as good or even better than me one day when they grow up. To be loved because of my work on and off the court is a privilege. I strive to be a person of integrity, a leader, and a good role model because the game I love has given me the opportunity to set a good example and have it be noticed and copied. When I am featured in the newspapers or online media sites about the good things I am doing, I fill up with joy. But it is a joy not just about basketball, but where it will take me in other realms of life.
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