14 Things That Basketball Taught Me

14 Things That Basketball Taught Me

Ball is life.
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Any sport played at any age is a huge part of your life. It teaches a lot about yourself and life. For me, it was basketball. I played basketball my whole life, and it is an experience that I would not trade for the world. Like everything you have your up and downs, but through the good and bad times, it was something that gave me some great stories and life lessons. Nothing teaches you more than playing a high-intensity sport surrounded by your best friends. So, here are some things that I learned while I played basketball.

1. Hard work.

Like most things hard work is the most important aspect. If you don't give it your all, don't do it at all. Whether you give it that extra push in practice or going after a loose ball, it will make you that much better. The work ethic that basketball gives you follows you throughout your whole life. If you are a hard worker on the court, you will be a hard worker off the court.

2. Teamwork.

Basketball shows you how to work well with others. Being in a team sport, you can't rely only on yourself. You have to trust others and pick them up when they are down and vice versa. If you can work well in a team, you can work well with coworkers and relationships in general.

3. Never give up.

As cliche as this sounds, it is true. You can never give up on the game or yourself. It doesn't matter if you are losing by one point or twenty, you can't give up. You can never give up on yourself either. Being 5'1, it was never easy for me. I could have given up when the odds were against me. Giving up was never an option and it never will be.

4. There are people that care for you.

There are teammates, coaches and family always rooting for you. There will also be people in your life who try to knock you down. Trust the people who will be there for you and cheer you on through the good and the bad.

5. Memories.

Cherish them. Cherish the memories and the time you have while playing. One day your body won't let you play anymore or one day you won't be able to play the game that you love. Treasure the friendships that you have and the memories you make with them. They are experiences that you will have for the rest of your life.

6. Size doesn't matter.

Like I said before, I am 5'1 and playing basketball wasn't easy for me. I was playing girls twice even triple my size. I never let it stopped me. Yes, it was limiting at times and what I would give for a few more inches. However, your size should never stop you. With that being said your gender, your experience, your size should never restrain you. Go after for what you love.

7. Leadership.

When I was little, I was a quiet and shy person. Playing basketball gave me more confidence. In no time, I was elbowing the boys and wrestling for the ball. I found my voice on the court which gave me a voice off the court. I got the honor to be team captain all four years in High School and it gave me a leadership role that I will never forget.

8. "Short term memory."

A short term memory means that if you make a mistake, move on to the next play and don't dwell on the past. This helped me not only in basketball but day to day life. It taught me not to worry so much about the past, but to focus on the future to improve myself and my game.

9. Communication.

If you don't have communication during the game, the team will fall apart. It teaches you, again, how to work well with others. It helps with relationships outside of basketball as well.

10. Having a passion is important.

Having something you love and something you care about makes your life so much better. If there is something that you are passionate about or interested in, do it. It helps cope with the stress of day to day life. Find that passion whether it is a sport, a hobby, a job. Having something so important is healthy and rewarding.

11. Competition is healthy.

A little competition never hurt anybody.

12. Commitment.

You spend endless hours at the gym. You get bruises, jammed fingers, sprained ankles, torn, ACL injuries, you name it we got it. Players dedicate their life to the game. It is a commitment whether you play four years or forty years. You give that game your heart and soul. Commitment is such a valuable thing to learn.

13. More than just a game.

Obviously, the game teaches you so much more than how to pick and roll. It gives you memories, lessons, people and experiences that will last you a lifetime.

14. Ball is life.

I mean, there's nothing else more to say than, "Ball is Life."

Cover Image Credit: Briana Marquez

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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Michigan’s Race For Governor: The Debates

With only a few weeks away from midterms, it's time to get serious.

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In October, Michigan will see two televised gubernatorial debates. The first will be hosted in Grand Rapids, and take place on October 12, 2018 at 7 p.m. The second will be hosted in Detroit, and take place on October 24, 2018 at 8 p.m.

As the victors of their respective parties in the August primaries, Bill Schuette and Gretchen Whitmer will meet to debate critical issues, such as infrastructure, immigration, environmental concerns in the Great Lakes, and where the candidates stand on the controversial topic of recreational marijuana use and legalization.

For the voters looking to get a better understanding of each candidate's positions, both Schuette and Whitmer participated in primary debates that were broadcast leading up to the primaries. These debates are still accessible to the public on YouTube.

On May 9, the Attorney General toted his endorsement from President Trump, using it to land credit with a growing base within Michigan's Republican Party. Schuette swept the Republican primary with apparent ease in August, defeating Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley by a 2 to 1 margin.

At the Democratic gubernatorial debate on June 20, former Senator Gretchen Whitmer presented herself as a well-rehearsed candidate. She stressed the importance of rebuilding Michigan's roads, among other issues.

She went on to defeat Shri Thanedar—an entrepreneur, and Abdul El-Sayed—a former director of the Detroit Health Department, and favorite among the progressive wing of Michigan's Democratic Party.

Schuette and Whitmer shared the stage together briefly at the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference, during the gubernatorial debate portion of the Detroit Regional Chamber 2018 PAC Reception.

Both the Attorney General and former Senator acknowledged other candidates within their parties, but used their speaking time to begin the age-old practice of political mud-slinging. It was clear that both were aware of each other's inevitable place as opponent for governor in November.

The Republican nominee accused his adversary across the aisle of planning to raise taxes and increase regulations across the board. In turn, former Senator Whitmer accused Schuette of claiming that children do not have a constitutional right to literacy.

It remains to be seen whether either candidate will be able to appeal to voters across party lines.

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