I am a strong believer that you should never give up on the things you love or the things you would like to accomplish. 3 years ago I was tested on my character, since then I now know that I am not a quitter and I am very DETERMINED to achieve all of my goals and prove any one who doubts me wrong. In high school, I was a very well known talented women’s basketball player for Louis D. Brandeis HS in Manhattan, New York. I was ranked amongst the best, that are now in the WNBA and who play overseas basketball. For unfortunate situations, lack of guidance and resources I was not able to play at a D2 school in which I desired. I was one foot in the door from playing for the Central Connecticut University Blue Devils. But because of a lack in financial ability on top of housing confusion I was forced to pave another path in my life, which was to begin a journey attending SUNY Oswego. This wasn’t too much of a disappointment only because I had a very close friend who attended Oswego at the time. So I easily adjusted knowing that I had someone to help me during this drastic change in my life. Being as to I would be 5 hours away from my family for most of the year, having someone to guide me along the way was very important at the time. I was excited about playing college basketball, that meant one step closer to being a better player and increasing my chances for playing ball overseas or something close to that.
One day all that flashed before my eyes when I was informed that I did not make the SUNY Oswego Basketball team. Me?… top ranked girls basketball player in NYC… the one who averaged 18 points her senior yr? This couldn’t be happening to me. I remembered it like it was yesterday…. crystal clear. I slept over my friends house that night and had a meeting with the coach the next morning about who had made the team and who got cut. I walked over to Laker hall at about 8 a.m very nervous and anxious to know whether I was as good as I thought I was. I walked into the office shaking and scared.” you are a great player, we appreciate you trying out this year, but you did not make the team…. BUT please don’t let this discourage you, we would love to have you around. I know how much basketball means to you… Think about being a manager and helping us out. I know the girls would love to have you around because they speak so highly of you” this is what she said…. something along those lines at least. I felt the tears coming on, my heart dropped, all I could say was thank you and I walked out. As soon as I stepped out, the tears ran down my face. I couldn’t stop as I walked back to my friend’s apartment crying my eyes out. I felt like my whole world was destroyed. The one thing I ever loved was taken away from me so quick and I had no say. I reached my friends house went inside n cried, I was so upset, so disappointed, so depressed. Since then everyone who asked me how the try-outs went, I ignored. I didn’t want to tell anyone, I was too ashamed to admit that I didn’t make the team. (I am surprised I am writing about this now, it is still hard for me to talk about but it is a step closer to closure)
After months of not touching a basketball, I finally build up the courage to play again. This time I was never aloud to put the ball down again because no one would let me give up my dreams so easy. It did take a lot of time in order for me to feel like a basketball player again. My family and friends were by my side throughout my journey of self-discovery. While going through this time of struggle I was searching for inspiration. At this time I decided to get a tattoo for my birthday and I knew exactly what I wanted. I knew it had to describe me and had to be something I could look at that had a story behind it. I was determined… determined to play ball again, determined to prove everyone wrong who doubted me like the coach who cut me. There it was, determination in Japanese, in my 2 favorite colors red and black, that is what I got. I took things slow and just played pick up games at lee hall here and there until one day… I was on bridge street with a couple of friends and two of the women’s basketball players came up to me, asked me how I was doing and if I was going to try out for the team the following season. I hesitated and said I wasn’t sure. I don’t think I could handle another let down. They told me I should and that the current coach was leaving and that they were getting a new coach. They told me I would make the team as long as I kept working as hard as I always have and that they don’t understand why I didn’t make the team in the first place. “Everything happens for a reason” and I know now that I had to go through what I did in order to make me a better player and a stronger person.
Now I am grateful for going through it all because now I am better than I was. I have now been playing for the Oswego State Lakers Women’s Basketball team going on 4 yrs. I became stronger, faster and better than I thought I would be and I have continued to push myself into a different player each year. The finish line is far from close but each day I am closer and closer to the BEST player and person I can ever be.