A defining moment for me was when I earned my basketball nickname, “Brian”. My first Zero Gravity championship tournament in New York was both exciting and intimidating. The screams of parents and fans were deafening and the screech of the refs’ whistles, trying to control what proved to be extremely physical games increased our adrenaline, as we fought for a win in our final game. However, as the intensity and physicality increased, I watched many of my teammates break down into tears, too flustered to play their best. It was during this game that I realized how I could use my tough, aggressive personality to carry my team. That was the day that my coach nicknamed me Brian, “the 15 year-old boy”. Although we did not win, I felt that I had gained a much more valuable life lesson.
Since that time, I continue to use my strength to drive both my athletic and academic choices and goals. Athletically, I am working on developing my offensive game to complement my strong defensive game. During a recent play-off game with my travel team, I saw the results of this hard work when my baskets started to fall as the intensity increased. I stepped up when my teammates needed my scoring abilities to win in the play-offs and eventually the final championship. Academically, my experiences with basketball have influenced my choice in taking all honors courses my freshman year of high school. Although I have been warned that this will not be an easy way to begin my freshman year, my basketball experiences have taught me that I am strong enough to rise up to the challenge and be the best “Brian” I can be- both on and off the court!