There’s no I in team. Being apart of a team is one of the most memorable experiences that you can have. The good, the bad and the ugly but you go through it all together. There is always the role players of the suck up, struggler, golden child, trash talker, hard worker that doesn’t get enough credit, and so on. I’m sure if you go back to high school basketball in Bryant today, the guys could put me into one of those categories; but when it comes down to it, I would rather have a team functioning as one unit than just individuals any day. I wish I could have seen the importance of unity back then.
After going to coach’s office, making copies of the game tapes and watching our games from a year ago I see our accomplishments beyond winning and losing basketball games. In a game against our rivals across town, our golden child played the whole game and ended up with only a basket. Even though we lost that game by four, it was amazing to see how the other guys and I picked him up while he was struggling. A month later he hit a last second shot against the number two team in the state to win the game 60-57 at home. We rushed the court in joy, hugging him and everyone not having a care in the world. This by far was the defining point of our year.
Every night for our team it was just how the ball bounced for everybody and everyone else made up for the slack. One of my buddies, who started in junior high, didn’t get to play hardly at all in varsity. The whole year he was discouraged and even quit at one point; but he came back and the last game of the season was in Rogers where we sent our team to the state tournament for the first time in five years. He didn’t start, but as the seconds wound down of his and my high school basketball career, he hit a shot at the buzzer. The expression on his face was unbelievable even though we lost and we would never play organized basketball again I couldn’t help but to smile. Some of our best memories were out on the court and now everlasting friendships will remain, plus when we were clicking we were unstoppable. It didn’t mean much when our coach said it at our end of the year banquet but now when I think back “teammates for life” really says it all.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.