Middle school basketball, don’t you love it? I went to my niece’s basketball game yesterday evening. As I sat in the stands watching her dribbling the ball up and down the court, I couldn’t help but feel proud of her because she had mastered something that I didn’t at that age, which was being a key player (a starter). She played point guard, for the most part, the entire game. And despite their opponent’s desperate attempts to rattle them, she didn’t flinch. Instead she kept her head in the game. As a result of playing wholeheartedly and with determination, she led the team to victory.
This brought back so many fond memories. I also played basketball in middle school as well as a little in high school. Although I was only somewhat of a good player, standing tall at 5 foot 11 inches, I was not great. I was not a starter or a key player either. In all honesty, I played because I was asked by one of the coaches plus a couple of the girls on the team encouraged me to try out. I believe I made the cut only because they needed some more height on the team.
Games in middle school were awesome, because we actually won several times and went to a few tournaments. On the other hand, high school games were not so great. If I recall correctly, our team lost most if not every single game. Losing game after game was disheartening. Nevertheless, I still learned the fundamentals of the game, how to work well with others (teamwork), and most importantly how to play (win or lose) with sportsmanlike conduct. The list could go on and on, as playing basketball taught me so much that I could write a book about it.
During my tenth grade year, basketball also helped me get a part time job at Wendy’s. When I interviewed with the store manager, he asked about it. I put it on my application under extracurricular activities (or hobbies). In short, I found out during the interview that his store participated in its organization’s basketball tournament. He offered me the job. They paid me a little more than my last fast food gig at McDonald’s too. I was excited about playing on the coed basketball team. I not only enjoyed working at Wendy’s as a teen, but also being a part of the team. Therefore, I referred a couple of well known ballers from school that they also hired on the spot.
One of the most gratifying feelings in the world comes from being appreciated and respected for what you bring to the game (or table). Being a key player may come easy for some, but for most of us (ordinary people) more is definitely required to be extraordinary. Thus, regardless of what you do for a living or where you work, get involved and be engaged in your organization. Don’t simply sit on the sidelines, Get in the Game.