My oldest brother, Miguel, has been the most influencial person in my life. He has pushed me beyond what I ever thought I could accomplish, and he still continues to do that up to this day. Our family is not very wealthy, and my mom has a lot on her plate being a single mom. This motivates me to work hard in everything I do because there is no other way I am going to be successful. I began playing basketball in 5th grade because both of my brothers played, and it was a way for us to bond. Through basketball, I gained confidence in myself that I never had before. I learned leadership, along with the desire to work hard, and want to be the best in what I do. It also gave me routine, and good time management skills.
Academically, in high school and college I want to maintain a high GPA. Every quarter I strive to get straight A's. If there is a class I am struggling with, I always want to make sure to put extra time into it (another skill I learned from playing basketball). Ultimately I want to know that I gave every class my all, I am never satisified with the bare minimum. Not having my father around and no one to really help my mom has been a continual struggle in all our lives. She is always in debt and has suffered many issues (including diabetes, depression, etc.) Growing up, it is hard watching your mom constantly upset. My siblings and I are not at an age where we can help her more (we understand her struggles more, we have jobs to help her with expenses, and we all are gym rats, so we stay out of trouble). In basketball, at the beginning of the off season of my sophomore year, I had to get through a really rough quad strain. My whole summer I had to take it easy, and not be able to work as hard as I could. Since that healed, I learned how important stretching, icing, and dieting are for serious athletes. Since I could not work off as many calories the way I normally did, I had to put all those factors into consideration.