Whether it's one sport or three, I think most would agree that sports have a lasting effect on our lives. For many, there has always been that one sport that meant the most. For me, that is absolutely true and that sport is basketball.
I've been in college for almost a year, and I still haven't gotten used to just being a student. Not that there is anything wrong with only being a student, as long as I can remember though, I was a student athlete. Without sports, I feel like there is a piece of me missing. I'm sure that one day this feeling won't be as strong, but I know that it's an emptiness that will never fully go away.
Sports have been such a huge part of my life and I'm so thankful for all the lessons I've learned through them. I truly miss volleyball and softball, but basketball has been the one I have had the hardest time letting go. It has been one of my "day ones." It was always THAT sport for me.
I remember cheering, trying soccer, and playing t-ball when I was around the age of four. I wasn't a fan of cheer or soccer but I enjoyed t-ball which eventually turned into softball. In second grade, I remember my dad mentioning basketball. At the time I didn't think girls played basketball so I wasn't interested. After my dad explained that girls play basketball too, I suddenly wanted to try it.
I don't think I will ever forget my first practice. I vividly remember the other girls dribbling around the court, while I struggled tremendously at the back of the line. After that night, I was no longer interested. My parents encouraged me to continue and explained how I would learn and develop skills. My dad explained that practice is how you get better. The rest is history.
Starting in second grade, I played basketball every season, year round a few years, and only missed one season during high school due to an injury. Anyone that knew me, knew how much I loved basketball. I drew basketballs on everything. I talked non-stop about basketball. I went through a phase when I wouldn't wear anything but basketball shorts. Anytime there was a basketball game on TV, I was watching. I was curious and would ask my dad a billion questions about the game. I would play basketball in the driveway for hours until my mom would make me come inside because it was getting late. Basketball games and practices were the highlights of my week.
In middle and high school my love for the game remained. Sometimes though, I questioned if I wanted to continue and I'm so glad that I did. You truly don't know the value of something until you no longer have it. I will forever be thankful for that sport. I am thankful for the long practices that seemed to never end. I'm thankful for the exciting games that came down to the last few seconds. I'm thankful for my coaches pushing me. I'm thankful for the friendships I made along the way. I'm thankful for the support of my family. I'm thankful for the 50 pairs of elites I had. I'm especially thankful for the lessons. Basketball taught me to push myself. It taught me how to persevere. It taught me how to get back up, change something, and try harder after failing. It taught me how to compete both on and off the court. I could go on for days about all the lessons I learned from basketball, but the point is that I am beyond thankful for the impact basketball has had on my life. Basketball was more than just something to keep me busy. It was my first love and something I could always rely on. No matter what was happening in my life, basketball was the one constant thing that I always had. The impact basketball had on me went beyond the court. Without basketball, I have no idea who I would be as a person today. Basketball was THAT sport. Basketball was my sport, but it was more than a sport. Basketball was my escape. Basketball was my life.