I would consider myself a mediocre basketball player. I am no stand-out, MVP, or usually even a starter for that matter. I never averaged double digits in scoring or rebounds, but I was also never the last to get in the game. Just average.
However, I love the game. I love the team morale. I love the leadership opportunities. And, most of all, I love the fun.
Yes, we grinded through extensive practices, even on Saturdays, for what seemed like endless weeks. Yes, we finished the season 4-19. Yes, we studied our playbooks until the X’s and O’s made our eyes go cross. But, that’s not what I will remember about my final season of varsity Roberson basketball. No, I will remember the people — my teammates and the relationships we built purely out of the commonality that this sport represents.
I certainly never would have made friends with some of the younger girls had we not been placed on the same team. But I would not trade a single player in that locker room for anyone. There is something truly special to say about the girls who picked me up, “five-touches,” when I was on the verge of tears after another drill, another turn over, or another down-and-back. They could make me smile with the simplest of jokes. We shared a love for basketball and a love for each other.
I will also never take the leadership opportunity presented for granted. The ability to be a figure, as a senior and four-year member of the basketball program, who others look to in times of discouragement is a big role that I can only hope I played a small part in. But also, in a not-so-serious manner as this is a blog about recreation and not forgetting the fun of life, just being there to remind them that wins and losses are not the end-all, be-all result of the season.
We could not allow ourselves to become bogged down in final scores, but rather be sure that at the end of every game we could promise each other that we gave it our everything. The number of points I scored, or did not score, in game never broke my heart. But if I could not look in the mirror and say that I played my heart out for my teammates, that did.
Galatians 6:9 reads, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” I hope that as I move forward with my life, whatever “team” I am a member of, even though it may not be an official athletic team, will be able to see the truth that comes in doing good. This good that can shine through all the struggles and hardships so that we may not be overcome. It can be as simple as having a funny movie night, but one of my duties in life that I have assumed is to be a person who allows others to see in the world through fun and recreation.
I do not play basketball for the recognition, or because I would ever be good enough to play beyond high school. I truly play for the fun. I will not recall any outstanding games or times that I made the final clutch free throws to seal a game — I am only average. What I can hold onto forever though are the friendships and self-betterment built in recreation that will last far, far beyond the final buzzer.