This I Believe

Kofi - Silver Spring, Maryland
Entered on October 13, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

What does the game of basketball take for you to prevail over the other team?

I believe that basketball is a game of determination, teamwork, sweat, hard work, respect and concentration.

When I was first involved in basketball I was young and I really knew the rules at a very young and tender age. People immediately recognized me as a young basketball prospect with a lot of potential in the future. I couldn’t argue with that myself. My coach once told me that “I might have all the skills in the world but there is once this you should never overlook upon, which is the love and respect for your teammates and staff.” Every time I touch a basketball I always think about that quote that my coach put into my head when I was a little baller.

I had an experience that really made me think of how lucky I was to have this team. We were playing one of the best teams in the league, and there was this one kid that was considered another MVP status behind me. We were the two best players in the league playing at the championship game. We both went back and forth scoring on each other, and playing a tremendous amount of pressure defense on each other. The last 10 seconds of the game we were down by 1. I had the ball in my hands. I really wanted to get that MVP award but most importantly win the championship game. The clock was going down now with 5 seconds and the coaches and fans yelling counting down from 5, then 4….3….2….1. I released the leather patent ball smoothly off the tip of my hand and I was sure that the ball was going to run through thin nylon of the net. Next thing I knew I see the ball roll off the tip of the rim and I fall in shame and embarrassment. I had just cost our team a victory. I immediately fell on the floor in shame with sweat departing out of the pores in my face and onto the hardwood basketball court. “I have let my team down” I said. I was on the floor doing nothing but staring at the floor ghostly. My teammates slowly walked to me, and picked me up off the ground. When they picked me up I felt a sudden rush in me of respect and love for my team. Even when I had cost us the game my team was still there to comfort me in a time of dreadfulness. This experience really made me realize the importance of respect and love towards my team, I made me also realize that at a time of bitterness and confusion, you can always count of your team to lift you up out of the puddle of sweat filled with embarrassment and discomforting pain. From that day on I never forgot that experience, it really taught me a lesson on respect and love for the people that you live around or work around. This lesson also taught me that in a time of pain and dire, true friends would always stand buy your side and pick you up from the puddle you mourn over.