The Dream Ride
The dream was a race car, going in and out of turns, running into obstacles, and dependent on gas. This dream was one reserved only for the privileged, blessed, and special. Fortunately, I was one of them. I was meeting everyone. I was meeting Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Shaquille O’Neal, Dick Vitale, Red Auerbach, Bill Cosby and Bob Costas. I was seeing the place where JFK was shot. I was standing on the grounds where Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address. I was climbing the high walls of the German castle of Neuschwanstein. I was riding in a Good Morning America limo through Central Park, New York City. I was buying trinkets at the night markets ...view middle of the document...
The two basketballs were still in my tiny arms, ready to go. The security guards ushered us out onto the floor. The music exploded, the crowd erupted, and Continental Arena was on its feet. The Hagen brothers, known as the “Whiz Kids,” were at it again, performing their “mini Harlem Globetrotter” routine at halftime of a Nets game.
At a very young age basketball opened many doors for me. I gained a perspective most young Americans don’t get: the world is big. Through basketball I was able to acquire an education no PBS program could provide. I was traveling the world and seeing things normal kids could see only in textbooks or on Sportscenter. My eyes had been opened; my windshield had been defrosted.
In my latter day basketball career I have learned even more. Leaders can take a team further than imagined. A team accomplishes more than an individual. Competition is one of God’s greatest gifts. Whether competing for girls or competing in a basketball game, I have learned that competition is what makes the world spin. Basketball has given me this edge: a “refuse to lose” mentality, an aggressiveness towards life. Yes, I’ll be competing with the brightest and best at Princeton, but I refuse to lose. My “drive” is matchless. I will have the victory lap. Thanks Mr. Naismith, inventor of basketball; thanks coach, teacher of life.
Education was the purpose; basketball was the vehicle. Dribbling, shooting, and passing an orange ball doesn’t seem like much, but you’ll never believe the mileage it has given me. It has surely been a dream ride.