Neighborhood Court

Ian - Rento, Washington
Entered on June 10, 2008

This I believe, I believe in sunny days, clear skies, and concrete courts. Where days pass so quickly that you have just woken up and the next thing you know you are falling right back to sleep. Days and weeks at a time that seamlessly disappear. Even though these days move so quickly, they stay forever engrained in my memory that when I reflect I can recollect them like they were yesterday. What I believe in is friendships that last a life time and the bonds that are made that make you stronger as a person.

I have been playing basketball for many years, and through basketball I have made many friends. The first game I ever played in the neighborhood courts I can still recall as if it were yesterday. It was a day or two after my sixth grade year had just concluded. The skies were clear of clouds, the sun was out such a rarity in Washington and the court illuminated as if it asked be played on. I arrived at the court at just past noon, ready to take part in an epic battle; my excitement overshadowed that of an NCAA championship game. The game was a 2 vs. 2, a showdown of basketball talent, Steven and I against John and Andy. AS we warmed up we knew we had the game in the bag. The first shot I put up was nothing but net; we led 1-0. And as the final shot twinkled the twine, the score read 11-0. We had skunked them. On that day I was given a nickname, “Bird” after the basketball player Larry Bird, one of the all-time great basketball players. So despite playing in a blowout and an easy win, I left the court that day with a nickname, new friends, and a smile. We still recreate this scene seven years later on the same courts. Times will change, people will change, but friendships stay strong throughout. And to this day, we still play together because we just like to play the game.

Basketball has led to many things in my life, but at the same time it is taking me nowhere. You hear about people getting scholarships to great colleges through basketball. There is no scholarship being offered to me or scouts watching me, and I know I have no career in basketball. However basketball is taking me places through friendships that I have made and friends that will be made in the future. So I do have a career in basketball; it is taking me in the direction I want to go with friends that I want to have.