All I have done my whole life is play basketball. I was born to play the sport and the saying “ball is life” is the story of my life. My dad has been a basketball coach for 40 years; his experience and wisdom has taught me to love the game. I grew up around his teams and observed the right way to play and the good attitudes; and I’ve seen many players that walk with a chip on their shoulder thinking the world owes them something. I know what the right player does and how he or she acts. I’ve always tried to model it. As I grew, people saw the potential I had at being one of the best at what I do. Older players thought it was cool to see a little 10 year old balling it up.
Then I made the varsity basketball team freshmen year. And I have never realized that “with great power comes great responsibility”. People respected me as a player and as a person but ever since freshmen year people resented me and said things that hurt to hear.
“The only reason you’re on varsity is because you’re dad’s a coach” or “You don’t even work hard, your dad just gives you everything” . I have never felt so angry in my life. Basically those two lines say your life is a lie or you’re nothing. I get crap from people all the time and now I get it from even my closest friends. One thing I have learned is that jealousy is a terrible trait. It destroys everything in it’s path like a tornado devastating a city it will break apart even the best of friends. No, the reason why I’m a varsity player is because I’m better than you. But I’m better than you because I’ve played longer and I work harder. Face it. If you put in the same amount of time I do or more then you would see. There’s a saying, “the more you put into it the more you get out of it.” I believe this is completely true. The more you practice the better you are. I don’t understand why people feel so insecure that they have to bring other people down just to make themselves feel good when they could just as easily lift themselves up. I worked for this, everything I do and have was earned not given. One time, I was out with the my team when our assistant coach asked me and another player who was dedicated, “which one of you loves the game more.” She said, “I do,” and then she looked at me and said, “Your dad has the key to the gym, that’s why you play. You never even worked for your game.” Bull! I shoot after games when I have a bad day, even if it means working out until 2 in the morning. I go before school, after school, and at night. All day, everyday is what I believe. And when you tell me that I don’t work for it then why don’t you try my schedule for once and see if you have the discipline of the mind and body to endure it. I know my dad does have the key to basketball courts but that means absolutely nothing. I still have to have the perseverance to get up early or go to bed late and still force myself onto that court so I too, can become great. I say to everyone that judges me, look at it through my eyes and what you will see isn’t what you personally think of me. Not even close. You see favoritism and laziness. I see myself at five in the morning working on my three point range. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not true. People make judgments about others by jealousy. Some of my teammates were tired of me being in the spotlight they wanted glory for themselves even if it meant taking me down and never letting me back up. During a game I would shoot maybe five or six shots by halftime because it’s a club game so I try to make it as fun as possible. If we were trying to win I would shoot more. So onetime in a game, to of my teammates said, ” Don’t shoot, let’s pass.” I sad ok, I do that anyway so no worries. Then I got a steal and a break away layup. My teammates came up to me again and said “don’t take shots! you need to pass.” What they are really saying here is,”pass me the ball I’m tired of you being the best player, I want to look good.” Well ok, you go out there and work for it and maybe make more than three out of twelve and then come back and talk to me. I hate it when my team complains I shoot too much when I make roughly eight of ten shots I take and they take twenty and make nine or ten. So it’s my fault that I’m good so coach plays me and when you don’t do as well or play as much it’ all because of me. I get responses like, “Well, yea, your dad’s the coach.” My dad’s the junior varsity coach you moron! He doesn’t have any say in my playing time. He doesn’t even talk to my coach about anything that has to do with me. People need to learn to take responsibilities for their own actions. It’s not my problem you don’t play a lot. Get your butt out on a court or in front of a hoop and practice. I put in hours upon hours dedicating my life to this sport and you claim everything was handed to me on a silver platter. Well you are wrong. If anything I’ve it harder than any of you. I have more responsibilities. I have to be a leader, role model for younger players, play well to hold up my title as an MVP, and not to mention to prove haters wrong.
Kobe Bryant once said that being great sometimes means being really lonely. My teammates who I deemed to be my closest friends – I questioned. If you’re really my friend then why do you try to bring me down; why do you talk to me that way? Don’t you know that basketball is everything to me? I never workout with other people and I never lift weights with others or run with people. Some say it’s because I think I’m better than everyone else and that I’m too good. In a sense I believe I am but isn’t that idea of competitiveness? I know I can play but I think no less of you or anybody I work by myself because either some people can’t keep up or others don’t have a desire like I do to be great. And in team practices I give you advice or try to help when you struggle not because I’m know it all, but because I want everyone to be great and to want to be the best they can be. If I don’t pay attention to that means I think you have no potential so when I try to give you tips it means I know what you can be if you give me all you got.
I realized that, “haters, gunna hate”. But, that doesn’t stop me. I still work. And maybe one day everyone will see it’s not a privilege to have a gym available to me. I earned every part of it. My dad puts his time in to the school and the gym and maintains it I use it whenever I can to make sure that I leave my mark at that school and one day follow a dream of a professional career. And playing for a coach who is also a dad isn’t as easy as everyone thinks. My dad knows that crap like this happens. He’s harder on me than anyone else. I can’t make mistakes like everyone else can and I can’t show a weakness of frustration or fatigue. If you think I have it that great, you’re wrong. If you want a basketball boot camp for a life then by all means do what you want. It’s my life and I love every bit of it. But others who don’t find basketball all that appealing wouldn’t enjoy it. I know it’s difficult dealing with responsibilities and commitment but it’s what I want. And if my teammates only knew what I go through each day they would see it’s not a “silver spoon in my mouth but a plastic one”.