This I Believe

Isaiah - Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Entered on December 20, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: sports
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I Believe

If it was not for my dad, I would not be where I am in basketball. I feel if he would not have been there making me practice, studying the games with me, constantly looking at my game and encouraging me to work on my weaknesses, I wouldn’t be at the level I’m at in the sport that I live for.

It all started when I was in the 2nd grade. I got my 1st basketball hoop for my 8th birthday. And I would play on it quite a bit, without really practicing at all. Friends of mine would also start coming over, and we would all play for hours. Then kids that were 3 or 4 years older than I started coming over. They would play games and didn’t want to let me play because of my age and lesser skill, but my dad reminded them that it was my hoop and they wouldn’t be playing without me. These games also helped me get better because the older kids were better than me, and I was playing with them so much. I still wasn’t very good back then but this helped me develop confidence because when I played with and against kids my age I felt like I was better than most of them because of my countless games with the older kids.

The following year I took a very big step when I joined my 1st recreational center basketball team. The season ended with me not really playing much. This was kind of upsetting to me, and my dad saw that. My summer going into the 4th grade my dad worked with me a little bit, and I got better, and the next season I started on my team, and we were also better as a team with a few new teammates. That season we did pretty well, but the turning point in my life of basketball came at the end of our season when we had an out-of-town tournament to finish our season off. During this tournament I did pretty well, scoring 15, 16, and 18 points in our three games, but we also lost all three of them.

This got to me a lot and I got very emotional and cried after the last game and for most of the ride back. My dad again saw this and then asked me the question that turned my life around and allowed basketball to seemingly possess for the rest of my life.

He said, “You have God given talent and you have the potential to be very good, but you can only be good if you work very hard and take it very seriously.” And then he asked me, “Do you want to be the best you can be? Or are you content with just being decent and playing for fun on rec. teams?” I responded through tears that I wanted to get better and be the best.

That following summer seemed like hell to me; he would make me get up around 10 every day and make me dribble up and down the sidewalk for hours. I would cry and complain and he would just make me do it longer. I would then have to shoot for even longer; then I had to dribble. I would shoot in the morning and then have to shoot again from late afternoon until night time. I would cry and complain through this also. But when next season came around I had tried out for an AAU team, which is a much more serious team that travels around the state and plays in tournaments against other AAU teams. I made the team and was starting too.

Through my complaining and my dads criticism, our relationship has always been quiet shaky, and full of ups and downs. I could not possibly be where I am now without “his” drive and determination, when I was lazy and had none. Now when I see myself, now through basketball I don’t know where I would be without my dad developing my skills back then. Just a guess, but I wouldn’t be at this college or writing this paper. Who knows I might not even be in college right now, so thanks dad. Now playing college basketball I am leading the conference, and the state in points which is 25 per game, and rebound which is 12 per game