The NBA has started the hashtag #ThisIsWhyWePlay for the upcoming start of the season. It gives basketball fans across the globe an opportunity to give an explanation as to why they play the game. It’s a great slogan because personally, I love to hear others indulge in their journey and approach to the game. What a lot of people don’t understand is that when it comes to basketball, it’s more than just a sport. There are morals and lessons taught through basketball that can reflect and have a huge impact outside of the court. For some people, it’s everything, and to others it’s just a game, but what makes it special is that it brings people together and causes enjoyment, whether you’re playing, coaching, or just being a fan.
The game of basketball has always been something special to me. Growing up I always watched my idols, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, and then went outside to try and imitate those things on my Fisher Price hoop. I would go to the park and play ‘Ruff‘ (21 is what they call it these days) against the older kids and try to prove that I deserved to be out there. Waking up early on summer days in South Carolina, just to play basketball under the 100-degrre scorching sun and come inside to quickly get hydrated and change my sweat-drenched shirt, just to go back and do it all over again. Battle and fight to become the best player I could through my high school career to try and reach the pinnacle of #23 and #24 that I always dreamed of. Go to college and begin a coaching career as a student assistant, to develop and coach young women the game of basketball along with a staff of other coaches that share the same love of the game that I do. To becoming a writer at a rising basketball site, that allows you to express that level of aspiration for the game that you’ve always possessed.
#ThisIsWhyWePlay, for the victories and the lessons of those tough losses. For those ear-screeching floor burns and all the nicks and bruises that come along with it. For that one phrase all players love to hear, “On the Line“. For the lonely nights and early mornings alone in the gym, perfecting your craft just trying to get better everyday. For the brotherhoods, the mentors and all the relationships that come along the journey. To helping a young athlete develop into a better player, but better yet, a better human being off the court. Because it’s deeply rooted inside of me and I don’t know what I’d do without it. To play, watch, and coach the game of basketball because I truly love the game.