WHAT MAKES ME FEEL ALIVE
There is no feeling like the one I get as I play the great game of basketball. Nothing compares to the cold tingle that I get running up my spine as I walk onto the hardwood with the hundreds of fans cheering as loud as they can. The noise is so loud and powerful my knees get weak. The hair on the back of my neck stands straight up. There is nothing more intense than that moment. It makes me feel invincible. It allows me to believe I can do anything. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.
Since the day that I was born I held a basketball in my hand. I’ve played at the YMCA when I was 8 years old, but I only played there for a year then I joined an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) team called the Capital City Mustangs. These were some of the greatest years of my life. This is where I first felt the feelings and I discovered my passion for the game.
I was 10 years old, it was my first year on the team; we made it to the state championship game. The game was against the Kentucky Thoroughbreds. It was the first game where I felt the cheers of the fans vibrate the floor. It was amazing. When we took the floor I experienced the first chill run up my spine, my hair stood straight up, my heart started to race. It was the greatest feeling you could imagine. We played the game and we won. We all received gold medals because we were the state champions. I will never forget that experience. It will forever be one of my greatest memories.
The next years we came in second and third place but unfortunately the team broke apart after that. It didn’t stop me though, because the next phase in my life was starting- middle school. I played at Bondurant Middle School. I learned almost everything I know about the game during this time from my favorite coach. His name was Coach Wooldridge and he pushed me to the max. He taught me how to better myself in school, as a person, and on the court. He gave me all that I needed to play at the next level. So I did.
I moved up to Western Hills and was in high school now. The feelings still remained with me. But I started to run into some problems. I started to give up in school, I started to slack, I started to lose control, I started to feel lost. I started to just go through the motions. I would wake up every morning, take a shower and go sit at school all day. The only times of the day where I didn’t feel lost was after school at basketball practice. It was the only time where I gave it at that I had. The time I knew what I was doing, the time where I had complete confidence in myself. And the time I felt alive.
Michael Jordan said, “When I step on the court, I don’t have to think about anything. If I have a problem off the court I can deal with it after I play. My mind is clearer and I come up with better solutions. It’s like therapy. It relaxes me and allows me to solve my problems.” This means a lot to me because it is like my therapy too, All my problems and everything else that is going on stop when I step on the court. I feel wanted and excepted. It makes me feel as if I am home and content. I believe that basketball has given my life the passion and meaning I have longed for.