My Life, as Defined by Basketball

By Hunter Sweet, senior

LEARNING TRANSFORMS US.

After three going on four years of high school varsity basketball, you learn many things, not only life lessons but about who you are. There are many things you can utilize from playing basketball and put it to use in your everyday life, including that many times you learn through failure. Failure is not always a horrible thing; for the ones who are dedicated, it is a stepping stone to improve.

The first lesson I learned is to embrace failure and to use it as motivation to improve. During my junior year, I was playing in the annual Les Schwab Invitational,  an elite tournament held in Oregon featuring teams from all over the nation.Over 1,000 live spectators watched the nail-biting 4th quarter of our first game, and with less than a minute left, I found myself the free throw line to hopefully take the lead. In front of everyone, I missed both free throws. Not only did I miss but I missed by a large margin, the ball barely hit the rim. Our opponent Central Catholic then went ahead to win the game due to my failure to make free throws. For the next two weeks, I  shot 200 free throws every day, either before or after practice. About a month and a half later, we played Westview at home, and in the 4th quarter, I sank two crucial free throws that maintained our slim lead.

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I have learned to cherish the relationships through our teams battle over adversity; the friendships I have built over my years of high school basketball are almost unbreakable. Seniors I knew my freshman year still text and call me just to check up on how I’m doing. In my opinion, some of the best friendships I have developed so far was the ones on the 2015-16 season. Not only were we a team but we were also one giant group of friends that hang out outside the gym.

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The last but definitely not least important lesson I learned is to set goals and always check my list of goals as often as possible. On our first practice of the year, Coach Vancil began to explain some things that we could achieve. The first was win a varsity game which wasn’t hard or unthinkable at all. The second goal was to have a season that is over 500 (win over half our games) this was set because of our previous seasons. The third and final goal was win the league title. From that point forward, Coach would recite our goals back to us everyday before practice. Sure enough, I found myself in the league title game playing Jesuit. After we won the game and cut down the nets, Coach went into the locker room and checked off “LEAGUE TITLE” from our list.

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Basketball is not just something you can do to have fun or do if you want to get in shape. Basketball teaches you life lessons and techniques for you to apply in your everyday life. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be the man I am today if it weren’t for basketball.

 

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