Being On A Team Changes You For The Better

Being On A Team Changes You For The Better

Growing up, being a part of a team was more than just something that kept me busy
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Being on a team means more than doing what you love.

Growing up, I was lucky enough to be a part of a team starting at a young age. Although I probably didn't realize it at the time, being on a youth soccer team at the age of four was just the beginning of discovering what the role of a "teammate" really meant. Through elementary school, I played soccer competitively, danced, and began cheerleading as well. At the time, I looked at these after-school activities as something that took my mind off school work, and of course that was fun for me. As I began to mature, I realized that not only was I doing something that I loved, but I was also with people who shared the passion with me.

Once high school came along, it didn't take long for me to adapt to the change of scenery. Joining a Varsity cheerleading team as a freshman seemed terrifying and I was not sure what I would be getting myself into. I did not realize the amazing friendships that would be made along the way.

Until high school, I attended a small Catholic elementary school. When I moved on to a public high school, I was introduced to different cultures, personalities, attitudes, etc. and meeting new people who had different interests than me outside of cheerleading was an eye-opener. It made me realize that being part of a team brings so many different types of people together to do what they love. Going into high school, I never would have expected to be friends with people who has such different interests as me.

This aspect influenced me not only in the gym but in the classroom as well. Because I came from such a small middle school, I was nervous to meet new people. Being a part of a team brought me out of my shell and helped me become more outgoing, especially when meeting the friends of my teammates I didn't share the love of cheerleading with.

So, being a part of this team didn't just introduce me to the girls who I was on a team with.

On top of meeting people with various interests, being on a team also taught me many things about myself. Being on a competitive cheerleading team, you tend to focus more on your team as a whole, rather than one at a time or just yourself for that matter. As our team got stronger, I noticed that when members of the team began to succeed or master new skills, it brought a sense of joy not only to them, but to myself as well. There was such a sense of accomplishment as a team when just one member or one group would succeed. This is something that could be taken out off the mat and brought into everyday life, whether it be in the classroom, at home, or the work place.

These aspects of being on a team taught me a lot about everyday life. Being on a team, especially in high school is important because it gives you a sense of diversity. The things that I learned from those on my team shaped me into the outgoing, loving person that I am today. Being a part of a team also caused me to aspire to work well with others and be a constant advocate of positivity, something that I believe is needed in everyday life. There will always be hard times, but with a strong support base, there will always be success in the end.

Without being a part of a team, I would not have realized these things. I am forever grateful for my teammates who helped shape who I am today.

Cover Image Credit: Jillian Recko

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Playoff Rondo Is A Different Breed

When he’s feeling it, Rajon Rondo is one of the most fun players to watch in the NBA. Right now, he's feeling it.
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Rajon Rondo lives for the postseason.

In the 2017 NBA Playoffs, he led the Chicago Bulls to two straight victories over the Celtics. In one of them, he was a rebound shy of a triple double and had 5 steals. Then he broke his thumb and was forced to miss the rest of the series. Chicago proceeded to lose four straight and were effectively eliminated from playoff contention.

Now, for the second straight year, Rondo is showing that he’s still got it in his early 30s. To be honest, I doubted Rondo would ever be an impact player again when he struggled in Dallas and Sacramento. It seemed his attitude was going to derail his career, and he would fail to live up to his potential.

However, he has been great for New Orleans this year, and he's playing even better this postseason. In Game 1 against Portland he had 17 assists and nearly had a triple-double in Game 2 (9 assists). He has led New Orleans in performances in which they have shown good ball movement, and on more than one occasion I’ve heard people watching say, “How did Rondo fit that ball in there?”. Playing with great scorers in Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis, he seems more than comfortable in his role as a facilitator.

In addition to passing the ball extremely well, Rondo has been hustling to collect rebounds and has scored when the Pelicans have needed him to, ie. at the end of Game 2 when he hit a 3-point dagger with 38 seconds left to seal it.

The last couple of years Rondo has been stellar in the postseason, and he hasn’t lost a playoff game since 2015. His improved performance on the big stage is nothing new for him, though.

Over the course of his career, he’s averaged 3.8 more points, 1.2 more rebounds, and 0.7 more assists per game. These may not seem like significant jumps, but when you consider how many playoff games he’s competed in dating back to his days with the Paul Pierce-Ray Allen-Kevin Garnett Celtics, it becomes a bit more impressive.

When he’s feeling it, Rajon Rondo is one of the most fun players to watch in the NBA. Right now he is feeling it. The boys down in NOLA are thriving because of it--also because of Jrue Holiday’s brilliant scoring performances and Anthony Davis’s perpetual brilliance in all areas of the game.

The series with Portland has been gritty, and the Pelicans have been forced to show that they have what it takes to close games. They’ve done that, and they did it in Portland. Now they head back to the Smoothie King Center with a chance to sweep at home. With as much confidence as they’re playing with right now, that very well might happen.












Cover Image Credit: New Orleans Pelicans YouTube

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Hurricanes Lose Walker, Brown Jr., And Huell To NBA Draft

Despite losing three of their highest scorers, the Hurricanes look to make the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year in 2019.
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With Lonnie Walker (Freshman Guard), Bruce Brown Jr. (Sophomore Guard), and Dewan Huell announcing that they are leaving for the NBA draft, Jim Larranaga looks to move forward. Huell is the only one of the three that chose not to sign an agent. The significance of this is that he still has the option to return to college. Walker and Brown Jr., however, do not have this option.

Lonnie Walker had a solid year for the Miami Hurricanes. The five star recruit averaged 11.5 points and helped lead the Hurricanes to a berth in the NCAA tournament. One of his best games came at home against Boston College when he hit the game winning three. His most high scoring games were versus Boston University (26 points), versus Louisville (25 points), and @ Florida State (23 points).

Bruce Brown Jr. had a year that was shortened by injury. However, he still had a solid year. The Sophomore Guard averaged 11.4 points. His best games came versus Middle Tennessee State (20 points) and versus Florida State (23 points). Hurricanes fans were sad to see the star guard’s season end prematurely, but wish him the best in the NBA.

Dewan Huell, the third Hurricane to declare for the draft, had a breakout Sophomore season. He averaged 11.4 points. His best games were @ Minnesota (23 points), versus Middle Tennessee (21 points), and versus Florida State (20 points).

While Lonnie Walker is projected to get drafted in the first round lottery, Bruce Brown and Dewan Huell are projected to go late first or early second round.

Hopefully, the Hurricanes can rally next year and reach the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year.

As for Lonnie Walker, Bruce Brown Jr., and Dewan Huell, best of luck in the NBA!

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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