I believe that basketball isn’t just a sport

Asha - Rock Hill, South Carolina
Entered on March 12, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude, sports

This I Believe

I believe that basketball isn’t just an activity that entertains me. Basketball is so much more to me, and it is responsible for helping me become successful. I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for basketball. I’ve been playing basketball all of my life. It kept me out of trouble and focused on my school work. I’ve been focused on the sport of basketball since I was six. When I was in elementary school, my mother used to tell me that if I didn’t make good grades then she would keep me from playing basketball. This was a terrible punishment. When I got to middle school I couldn’t participate in any after school activities with bad grades or I got in trouble, not just with my mother but also with the school. These same rules applied during high school. This is why basketball has kept me so focused on my school work as a kid. I had so much respect for the game that nothing would stop me from playing it. This is one of the reasons why I stayed out of trouble. I stayed so busy with my school work and basketball that I didn’t have time to get into trouble. It didn’t bother me a lot to miss out on some of the things my friends did because I was doing something that I loved.

Even though there isn’t any evidence of how successful I might be without basketball, I still believe that if I didn’t have basketball then I wouldn’t be as successful as I am today as a college student. It helps me build a social life, and it keeps me healthy. Because I am playing at the college level, I must watch what I eat and exercise daily. Basketball also provides me with a tool for good education. It teaches me the greater things in life. It teaches me the importance of teamwork and to give respect, not just to my teammates and coaches, but to everyone. It taught me to never give up, even when things aren’t going my way. It could be that I’m not getting along with my coaches or teammates or I could be having a bad season. For example, even though I’m not playing this year I still keep trying every day in practice to get better for next year. Basketball also taught me to work for common goals. Before I came to college, I would set a goal before all of my basketball games. If I didn’t achieve it then I felt like I didn’t do well in my games. Nowadays, every time I set a goal for myself I am more driven to achieve it, whether if it is basketball related or not. I wouldn’t be as tough mentally or physically without this amazing sport.

Today I attend college on a full basketball scholarship. My parents can’t afford to put me through college on their own. That’s why I say I wouldn’t be in college if it wasn’t for this great sport. I’d still be at home, not sure of where I was headed, and maybe eating and gaining weight. Hopefully, after I graduate I’ll get the opportunity to play overseas. If not, I want to become a college basketball coach. I always want to be around basketball.

Some people may ask “how would you know that you won’t be successful without basketball?” I know that I wouldn’t be as successful because I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I tried to participate in everything including volleyball, soccer, softball, track, skating, music and art. You name it and, I’ve tried it. Basketball turned out to be the perfect fit for me. This is why I stick to my belief that basketball is much more than a sport played for entertainment. Basketball made me who I am today: disciplined, educated, outgoing, supportive and proud. Taking basketball away from me would be like taking life away.