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I first stared playing when I was eleven years old. I would watch my mother and aunts watch basketball on TV. They would get all excited watching the players, all the different moves the players made, and the shots they sank in the rim. The more I watched it with them the more I could see the appeal it had on them then, and on me, now. I was mesmerized by all the spectacular, gravity defying moves the players seem to execute with the greatest of ease.
From that point on I have ever since, somehow, known that it was my destiny to succeed in the game of basketball (and I didn’t then,and don’t, care what anybody has to say to the contrary). It’s in my life until I die.
That is just a small example of how much I LOVE BASKETBALL. When I first started playing I was small, couldn’t shoot, I couldn’t even dribble the ball.
But, I wouldn’t let lack of experience stop me. The fact that I had never played before didn’t stop me from learning and trying to be the best player possible ever in the game (which, by the way, is my goal). I played, and practiced whenever I could but, no matter how hard I practiced, or how much I practiced, I was never good enough to beat the other kids in my school. You see they all had been playing the game sense they where five years old.
No matter how much I improved they always seemed to be a step ahead of me in ability. They always jumped a little higher, ran a little faster, shot a little better. I never let it stop me from striving to be a better player.
All during Jr. High I had this passion for this game. I had dreams to be the best at this game, but there was one problem, everyone else was better at it than I was. My Jr. High school had a program called Academic Plus. Every day after school for two hours. The first hour was reserved for students to have a chance to complete their homework early. The other hour was free time that we could either go to the computer lab, or go to the gym for ‘B’ ball or what ever we wanted to do. I would always go to the gym and’ ball’ trying to improve my game.
The guys always played ‘pick up games’ and I was hardly ever picked for you see I wasn’t very good. They all use to say I didn’t have any skills. So then I had another reason to succeed in ‘B’ ball, to make them eat their words.
For the rest of my two years at Jr. High I went to the gym and to the park to practice and play pick up games to try to learn what I could from different people to improve my game. To describe an average day of practice I would take 200shots, spend 2 solid hours working on my ball handling, and sprint the basketball court 25 to 35 times (depending on how tired I was) to increase my endurance. By the time I graduated from Jr. High I had grown five inches and I was as good as any player I knew, perhaps better.
I was all set and ready to go to High school. I was going to play for Scott High school (which was ranked number #10 in the nation then). I could hardly believe it I was so excited. But it all came crashing down because I never got the chance to go to Scott, or any High school for that fact. My mother had decided to tack me and my brothers out of public schools, to home educate us. I knew allot of different things could get in the way of an athletes’ goals like an injury or something, but I never expected something like this. We, my Mom and I, talked to the Super Intendant of Public Schools and he said that I couldn’t play High school ball because I wasn’t officially enrolled in school. I thought my whole life was over. I thought, how could I ever get to the NBA if I never played High School ball? So for the rest of that year all I did was set in the house and read I was so depressed I didn’t even play basketball.
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