Writer: Caleb Harris
He shoots, He scores. They love him! He shoots, He misses, they hate him! Believe it or not, life is like a basketball game because when you’re doing great and accomplishing your goals. However, the moment you start messing up and failing at life, you missed, they hate/dislike you.
Basketball always had my back when I felt as if no one else did. I’ve missed so many shots in basketball but I decided a long time ago that I was not going to stop until I made it. In life, you miss the opportunities you do not take, just like in basketball, you don’t know if you’ll make the shot if you don’t even shoot the ball.
When I starting getting better at this sport I love to hate, a guy came up to me and challenged me to a game of one on one. A boy, young man, or a man is not allowed to walk away from a challenge because his pride will not allow him to. One day, I played against a guy who was 6’2 and was in his early twenties. I was a 14-year-old, 5’7 young man looking to prove something to myself.
I knew the rules. The game was up to 11, win by two, make it take it, 1’s and 2’s (2 pointers were 1 point and 3 pointers were 2 points). He gave me the ball and told me, “Let’s see what you got young blood!” There I was with the ball in my hand, I shot a quick three-pointer and got rejected. The guy took the ball, dribbled to the basket and laid it up for one. He kept running his mouth kept telling me that I was his breakfast and or whatever. That didn’t suit well with me at all. Eventually, the score was 6-2 now and he was up by four. I REALLY THOUGHT ABOUT HITTING THE PANIC BUTTON!
Many people believe that do not play this sport believe that you have to be a certain height to be good at it. This couldn’t be any further from the truth! Sometimes this game is not all about physical determination, however, a little more mental focus. I am the prime example. I told myself, “I’m not going down without a fight!” This guy tried to dribble right past me to dunk on me. I smacked the ball out of his hands, dribbled back to the three-point line took the shot and made it 6-4, I was still down two.
I dribbled to the left, stepped back for the easy shot and screamed, “Let’s go!” as loud as I can. Nobody was even there that day, but I felt I had an audience. I decided to take a step back and I hit a quick three to go up 7-6. I guess my opponent knew what I was trying to do so before I can step back the ball was smacked out of my hands, I tried to chase him down and block it but didn’t have much luck. He scored with a jump shot right in my face. It was soul crushing! The score was now tied at 7 with four points left to score.
He told me, “I’m ending this!” I told him, “You ain’t ending nothing!” The trash talk continued as we kept sparring verbal jabs at each other. He had the ball and he decided to take a three and he missed. I got the rebound as fast I could, made sure I dribbled behind the three-point line. I took another three and I missed it. We both ran up and tried to get the ball. You’ll have to take my word for it but as God as my witness, I was in the air with him. I didn’t get the ball, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t try my hardest to get that ball!
He had the ball in his possession and dribbled behind the three-point line. He made it. Now it was 9-7, his lead. As soon as he got the ball I played tighter defense than the last possession. He took another three and thankfully he missed! I had the ball and took another jump shot. I missed again.. I went cold! He had the ball now. He took the three again this time and the ball went through the bottom of the net. He won 11-7. I couldn’t believe it, I just stared at the rim with a puzzled look on face. I turned around and shook his hand and he left the court. Meanwhile, I stayed around and kept shooting hoops until it was dark.
Even though I lost the game by four points, I won the game of life because I found out what I was made of. Over the years, my game became a lot better. I learned how to play smarter than playing harder. Basketball has always taught me that somebody or something will always be in your way, find a way to overcome those obstacles because if you don’t. You will always wonder “What if!” That is one of the worst feelings that any human being can have. Don’t live with that feeling!