For as long as I can remember, I've been in love with basketball. I started playing competitively when I was in seventh grade & I haven't looked back since. Ever since my 8th grade year, I have started every team I have played for (except for disciplinary reasons). Basketball was my best friend. When I was sad, down, and depressed basketball understood me. Basketball didn't ask me questions or treat me differently. He accepted me for who I was. When I was in high school, someone joked and said I was going to bring Wilson (a brand of basketball) to the prom. I wish I could have LOL.
After high school, I received a basketball scholarship to play basketball for Saint Catharine College. It was only for the junior varsity team but I was still excited because I got to continue to live my dream, which was to play basketball. I had the mindset that I was gonna play a year for JV and then move up to the varsity. It didn't work out that way, and I ended up quitting the team. I started for the team and was one of the best players on the team but in retrospect I Didn't appreciate what I had.
Now that I am at Spalding University and not receiving alot of playing time, I look back and realize that at SCC I was too cocky. I was 18 years old and thought I knew everything. This has definitely been a humbling experience. Last year at Spalding, I played a total of 40 minutes the ENTIRE season. Yeah, I'm serious. It was a very difficult year mentally and emotionally for me. But I made it through even though I wanted to quit. I used to ask myself last year, why are you still here? I guess I didn't want to quit because of my love for the game.
This year, I knew it was going to be different. We have 5 seniors so I didn't think I was going to start, but through two games I have played a total of ZERO minutes. Yeah Zero. That is not a typo. It's so bad. I am literally the only person on the team who doesn't get into the game. This has taken a toll on my confidence. I used to be confident in my talent and my ability to play this game. I am not so sure anymore. I wanted to quit after the first game of the year. But my teammates talked me out of it.
People ask me all the time. Why play, if you are not playing? That is a damn good question, and one I ask myself all the time. I come across people all the time who played basketball in high school and who were fairly decent. Some played on teams that went to state and all. Out of 20 people I know who had the talent to play college ball, only 3 went to play ball. And only two of us are still playing. That is why I play. I pay because I don't want to be 36 and wondering what if. I play for the girl who wrote me on facebook who loves basketball and can't play because she has seizures. I play for my cousin who died who used to love basketball and played in high school. I play for all of these people.
Whenever I get down, I simply go to the gym and pick up a ball and shoot. Basketball takes me to another place. I used to have a dream of making it to the WNBA. I don't anymore. But after I graduate, I will still try out for a team. Why? Cause you never know. I don't want to wonder what if. I have a future post basketball, but I cannot imagine my life without basketball. So I hope to coach one day. I will always love the game for everything it has given to me. Basketball gave me hope.