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Ben K

Page history last edited by Kate Oubre 12 years, 8 months ago

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  I once read a poster that said “even the experts at something were once  beginners.” These words have stuck with me all of my life. I always remember that  one poster in my second grade English class. This poster, this insignificant little piece of paper with a plastic cover, kept me going. That little piece of paper kept me motivated. That little piece of paper changed my life.What was so special about

these words, you might ask. Well, the truth is, I fell in love. I fell in love with the game of basketball.


     It all began when I had just started third grade. It was all the same people, everyone from last year…except this year, there was a new kid. Nobody knew him from anywhere, and nobody even knew what he looked like. When he first came in, everyone was sizing him up, and you could definitely tell he was doing the same.  He

wasn’t anything special, just a new blonde kid in the class. My friend Darrell and I could tell he was athletic, but couldn’t tell at what. Finally, we found out. He was a basketball player. Grant wasn’t much taller than me, and I was even taller than him every now and then. However, height did not have much to do anything with Grant and I. We became friends, good friends, and he introduced me to the game I would soon learn to live for. Grant was very good at basketball, much better than I was. This was what I thought, even though I didn’t realize that he had the edge due to experience. At first when I began to play I wasn’t very good, but as time progressed over that year I continued to improve and improve.  By the time the summer was here I was almost average. I loved this new thing Grant had introduced to me. I wanted to continue into the summer. So, I found a camp at the local college, Texas A&M. The camp was for all ages, from about my age up to seventeen. I believe I was about 8 or 9 at this time. I called up Grant and asked to see if he was interested in going with me. He agreed, and we signed up and got ready to go.

     When we got there, the building where we were supposed to sign in was packed, so we waited and

  waited until we were finally issued keys for our room and card for identification. You see, the camp was an overnight camp. We stayed in dorms for the week, and we didn’t leave until the camp was officially over.

  The first day went well. We met our teammates, hung out, and learned about the place where we were staying  and what time we had to be in our rooms, and so on and so forth. Grant and I were not on the same team, but we were in the same section of age group, so we still saw each other a lot. Here in the camp, I learned very quickly the hard way I wasn’t as good as I had thought. I had the ball stolen from me, I wasn’t dribbling well, I couldn’t even hit a single shot, and the other team all but left me in the dust. I wasn’t enjoying the game as thoroughly as I had wanted to. 

  I did not ever give up, however. I ran back and was always first back on defense. I tried my best to play well for the team’s sake, even if I couldn’t do anything for the team. If anything, I tried. That was my comfort. My other comfort at night was hanging out with teammates and playing games like pool or just watching tv in the

lobby area.

This was not my last stint with basketball, and although I didn't exactly enjoy the first taste of real basketball I had just gotten, I couldn't stay away for long. I continued to play and play, improving every time I stepped on the floor. That next school year, I joined a basketball league made by the city. I wasn't quite as bad now as I had been over the previous summer at the camp. The kids were more at my level, and I did much better against them. Our team was much stronger, and I actually learned a lot from it.

  Even though our team didn't win very many games, I still enjoyed myself much more than I did with the camp. Our school did have a basketball hoop, even though it was pretty cheap and outdoors. I didn't really truly continue to improve on my basketball skills while I was on this hoop. It was more just messing with friends and enjoying myself. However, I did improve by playing games. I learned how to dribble out of traps and how to drive, even if my defender wasn't that good. I continued to play, and my love for the game continued to

grow.  I never was THE player at my school. Darrell and Grant were.I was third best, but I never truly went up to their level. Then, one day, something changed. Something drastic.

  We noticed it gradually at first. Then, after a certain amount of time, everyone noticed it. Grant was changing. Grant used to be cool and funny. Now he was just a whiny little snob.He was losing friends left and right. He complained about the silliest things, and threw fits over them. Everyone knew the end was near. One day, he just didn't come to class. And then he didn't come another day, and another day, and another day. He had 

transferred schools. I was now the second best player in my school. I couldn't believe it. This was huge to me. But my happiness didn't last for long.

  I decided I again wanted to go to the camp this coming summer. So I did. I found out very quickly I was outmatched by quite a bit. I wasn't half as bad as I was last summer, but I still did not do very well. Not getting discouraged, I continued to hustle and to improve.

    Finally, after a few long years, I was a sixth grader. I was old enough to play for school in organized basketball. So I signed up. However, not enough people signed up. So me and Darrell were put on the varsity team. We were playing against high schoolers. Needless to say, we were a little bit scared. Our team seemed good, but we didn't do very well. We only won one game, which, considering the school hadn't won a game in four years, was pretty good. I actually did score multiple times, and I had many many steals. So many, in fact, that when the season was over, I was awarded the Defensive Player Award. 

     Then came that year. I had just graduated from sixth grade, and my basketball skills were improving more and more. I wanted to stay, but my dad got a job and we had to move. We were moving to Tucson. So, that summer, we packed up and headed over two states. I was a bit sad to leave my friends, but excited to be playing at a bigger school. When I got there, I really knew nobody. I was shy at first, but I warmed up to the people quickly, and made lots of friends. I liked Tucson. It was a nice place, even if the terrain wasn't the best. 

     When basketball season came around I was excited to see how our team was. I saw some tall players, and that made me happy, as I had never been on a tall team. When practice started, not only were the players tall, they were good. We had the most balanced team I'd ever been on. We had small players AND we had big players. I was good, but not better than these players. However, it seemed like they were older than me. It turned out they were. They were all eighth graders. 

     When we had our first game I didn't play that much. I played, and I did well, but I didn't play 

  much. We won our first game in a blowout. The season was pretty much like that for the rest of the year. We won and continued to win. Then, we played Desert Christian, our rival. It was the playoffs, and this game was the semifinals. We had played them before, but we lost. Now we had a new defense, and a new concentration. We ended up losing. Now after this season ended, I was disappointed. Next year I was an eighth grader, and our 

team wasn't looking very strong. I hoped for the best. 

   So a year later, I was an eighth grader, and I was the best player on the team. From this point, I had already realized that I wanted to continue to play basketball.Our season didn't go very well, but we did do pretty well considering. At the end of the season, I was given the award of Most Valuable Player. I was ecstatic. 

  Bring it to this freshman year. I have journeyed very far all the way from a small wimpy little kid playing a sport he didn't look like he belonged in, and now I have become a high school basketball player. I had come so far in what seems so little time and I hope to continue my career to a farther level. Basketball has matured me and sculpted me into the person I am today. It has kept order in what sometimes was a chaotic life, and with all the hard work and dedication, let me just tell you, it was well worth it. So take a step in my shoes, and let's play ball.


Comments (4)

Kate Oubre said

at 6:39 pm on Sep 15, 2010


There are still formatting errors in your text. Be sure to get rid of extra spaces and to add an extra space in between paragraphs.

Sami El-Ali said

at 12:05 pm on Sep 21, 2010

ben i liked the idea of your story because basketball for me is fun to read.

rtaki said

at 10:59 pm on Sep 21, 2010

I agree with Sami, the topic was interesting and you kept me reading, so great job!

jarnold said

at 6:27 pm on Sep 27, 2010

Hey dude, your video was extremely well done, and your story was interesting

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