Mon. Jul 4th, 2022

January 19 marked the end of my JV basketball season. After blowing Wake Forest out by twenty points, we ended the season on a good note. Due to my teammate’s hard work during games and their competitive drive, the women’s JV basketball team ended the season 11-3.

I didn’t try-out freshman year, but I did try-out sophomore year (this year). A lot of people tend to ask me why I didn’t tryout last year. In response, I’d usually say that I was focusing on my academics or explain I injured myself prior to the season (true statement), but in all honesty, my heart just wasn’t in it. During freshman year I was going through different phases of my life, and at that time, I started to discover who I really am as a person.

As I made all these new self-discoveries about myself, I started to lose the passion and love I always had for the game of basketball. Those of you reading this might not think it was a big deal but, at the time, it was and still is for me. In fourth grade I started playing basketball, and since then, basketball was the love of my life. So for me, to all of a sudden lose the passion I once felt was a foreign, and unsettling, feeling.

To say the least, people were shocked when I decided not to try out for the team my freshman year. My parents were especially surprised, and even saddened, at the fact that I decided not to try out, because they knew how much the sport meant to me. My dad was extremely disappointed with the entire situation at that time, and I knew the reason was because I lost the passion every player is known to have for their sport.

However, I did understand where he was coming from. My dad and I have always had a close relationship, and basketball was the bond we shared that strengthened. When I decided to take a year off, and not play my freshman year, he couldn’t understand and was frustrated with me because “why would I just stop playing after so many years of going to camps, training sessions, and games.”

I didn’t try out because I didn’t want to play basketball while I still had a dull numb feeling for the sport. Did I want to play? Absolutely. Did I still love the game of basketball? Eh, somewhat. I felt that it would be unfair to myself, the coach, and the players if I participated in a game in which I felt no love for.

From the very beginning, I promised myself not to do something I didn’t have a love for and I stuck to that promise.

The first year was tough for me. I wanted to try new things and “see what was out there” when I really had all I wanted right in front of me. I didn’t realize that until the summer after freshman year. Once school ended, the feelings I once had for basketball started to reemerge. However, I didn’t want to say anything about returning to playing the game until I was completely certain. I wanted to think about what I was feeling and make sure it wasn’t just a one time thing. Once I had gotten myself together and my priorities straight I got back into playing basketball. Sure, I was a little rusty but it was only a short time before I was back into the swing of things. I can honestly say that I didn’t know how much I truly missed playing basketball, being on a team, and just having a close relationship with my teammates.

By the time the basketball season came back around sophomore year, I was ready. I did the best I could in tryouts, and I made it onto the junior varsity team. I didn’t care that I was on junior varsity because I’d have a greater chance a playing. I was just happy…no, I was giddy that I made the team period.

As the basketball season progressed and started to come to a close, I thought about everything I learned since freshman year. My basketball experience showed me how independent I can be and really taught how to admit when I’m in the wrong. Thanks to what I went through in freshman year, I now know how to handle difficult situations and solve my own problems. I learned that there is a life lesson in everything. The game of basketball just so happens to have taught me that.

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