“This I Believe”

Joshua - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on January 22, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports
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I believe basketball can take the role of a parent. While growing up basketball was always there, unlike my father. It all started when I began to come into my teenage years. I was always so bored and lonely with my life; I never had anything to do. My mom and dad were divorced, and my brothers would always do there own thing. I always thought about gangbanging, Why not? I had nothing else to do. But then I picked up a basketball for the first time and that changed everything.

After playing for a couple months, I realized I had talent and it was good enough to take to another level. I tried out for my sixth grade basketball team, and made it. Dribbling the ball down the court, I swerved left then shot, it went in I made 23 points on my tryout. I never felt this feeling before while dribbling a basketball. I felt like I am the only person on the court, and no one can stop me.

Since that day, a basketball still remains in my hands. It has kept me out of a lot of trouble, something my father has never done. Everyday after school, my upper classmates, which were eighth graders, would always offer me the chance to “chill,” with them. I always felt tempted to do so, but basketball kept me away from the negativity. If it wasn’t for the game of basketball my future of going to college would be down the drain. I would have made that one mistake, and “Bam,” my life was done.

My father never taught me how to be a man, but on the other hand basketball has. Being a man is more than just fighting or holding your ground, it is also taking care of your responsibilities. It has also shown me how to be disciplined and to take care of my body. When ever I am having trouble dealing with a situation, I can always look for basketball to help me out. It helps me out by keeping things off my mind. I will just go to the basketball court by my house and just shoot around, not worrying about what my problem was.

Basketball has always been there for me no matter what the problem was. It has kept me away from drugs, gangbanging, and from other dumb mistakes. I wish I could have said the same thing about my father. I can finally say that he is trying now, and that I am grateful for it.