This I Believe

Emily - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Using My Height to My Advantage

Sure, being a petite girl has its advantages. We never have to worry about having a date shorter than we are, and at the movies we can sometimes pay the price of a child’s ticket. But what about sports like basketball? As a 4’11” athlete, I’ve learned basketball isn’t all about height. Although being tall helps, skill definitely dwarfs the height factor. I believe in using my height to my advantage.

I signed up to try out for East Marietta basketball in seventh grade. I knew I was going to be the underdog during the entire try-out. Most players and coaches didn’t expect anything spectacular out of me. This made me work harder and want it even more. During warm-ups, I tried to keep up with the other girls, rebounding as many balls as I could and taking all the possible shots. To my surprise, and probably everyone else’s, I did.

Next, we scrimmaged. My defender stood about half a foot taller than I did. I kept my head up, literally, trying to act as tall as my defender. We ran up and down the court non-stop for six minutes, all of us trying to impress the coaches. Jumping as high as I could, I aggressively rebounded most of the balls for my team. The sound of basketball shoes squeaking against the gym floor was all that was heard.

When try-outs were over, I could tell the coaches were starting to take a second look at me. A couple of coaches even came up to me and gave me high fives. Then I realized that basketball wasn’t all about height.

A week later I received a call from my coach letting me know I was on his team. I couldn’t wait for the season to begin. When it did, my team seemed unstoppable. We won one game after another. Probably the best part of playing teams who didn’t know my team’s strengths and weaknesses was surprising everyone with my rebounds. I could tell our opponents didn’t expect a 4’11” girl to jump so high and rebound the ball.

The season soon came to a close, and ironically enough, I, the shortest girl on the team, had the most rebounds of the season.

Playing basketball helped me realize that my height wasn’t going to stop me. My height didn’t stop me from playing basketball, and it won’t stop me from anything that crosses my path in my future. I’ve learned to embrace my height, and for this, I believe in using my height to my advantage. This I believe.