I have always loved basketball. When I was about three years old, my dad bought me my first ever Nerf basketball hoop. I played for hours a day, and my siblings would complain about the constant “Bang! Bang! Bang!” echoing through the house of the ball hitting the door above the plastic net. Then, when I was big enough, I moved to the outdoor hoop and played countless hours shooting buzzer beaters, acting like I was Kobe or Lebron, and dreaming I was in the NBA. I have a serious passion for basketball, and that pushes me to work hard physically and mentally in this and other areas of my life. Surprisingly, I grew up in a soccer family. My brother played collegiate D1 and professional soccer, and two of my sisters played collegiate D1 soccer. I saw how hard they worked at what they loved.I love basketball, so I work as hard as possible at that. Working hard has become my habit, not just in sports, but in school too. I started watching games and understanding strategy at the age of eight. I never go down the court thinking, “When do I get to shoot?” even though my mom likes it when I score a lot of points. I look to find the open guy and create possibilities for my team because I know that when we can open up holes, we can attack and create plays off the dribble, or catch and shoot.
I have experienced much success using these strategies to be a team leader while playing club league with a lot of other talented players. In contrast, I have had to overcome challenges my first year of varsity basketball as a sophomore when I dealt with a very negative team and a very negative coach. For the first time in my life I had to learn how to lose with dignity by keeping my composure and staying positive about the future. Even though I was devastated when we did not make the playoffs and had to go home early, I decided to learn and grow from the situation. I got closer with my teammates and decided, “This is a new year!” I took initiative to help create good chemistry with my teammates by reminding them that we were battling this together. Everyone, including the coach, felt more positive and our team improved. I choose to play basketball because it is the main thing that makes me strive for growth and success. I do not play basketball out of habit or obligation, I play because this game has my heart, and I could not love it any more.