Expectantly, I hear my coach say “Get her out of the game! ” As jog over to the bench, look into the crowd at my dad, he has head is down as if he’s disappointed. I burst into tears. I’ve participated in volleyball, track, and cheerleaders, but my dad has never supported me in any of those sports. The first event he has ever been to and I am embarrassing him. Felt like such a failure! I thought to myself, he would never come to another game. Later that night, he walks into my room and gives me a pity look. He says, “It’s okay. You’ll get better. You just need a little ore practice. Hearing him say that not only shocked me but also felt relieved. I knew that my dad still had faith in me. My dad and I never really talked or showed any emotions toward each other. It was like we were strangers living in the same house. It wasn’t that we didn’t care for each other, we were just unsure of how to show affection towards one another. Began playing basketball at the age of 9. Was quite taller than most of my peers, so several coaches had ask me to play for the team. The first team I committed to was the “Ladybugs”. Then Coach Roland, my dad, started a correctional team called the “Newcomers”.
He gathered several girls in our neighborhood who were interested in playing to start a small team. With an exception of myself, the whole team was inexperienced in basketball. That made me feel superior to them, but assumed my coach felt differently. He would push me so much harder than everyone else and make me run extra laps for every mistake I made. Often times I wanted to quit and switch teams but I knew deep down that he was just trying to make me a better player. Every afternoon, I would lace up my washed up, black, team Cordon’s, drag the settable goal to the road and try to perfect my skills until it was time for practice.
Majority of the time, if my father did not have to work late, he would join in by helping me improve my techniques and develop new skills. Basketball was becoming a way for us to communicate to create a healthier relationship. During a recreational game, I felt I had an extraordinary game and was so proud of myself. I had 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. After the game I was looking for my dad to get his opinion of how played, but I noticed he was busy conversing with an AAU coach. AAU is a more advanced bevel of traveling basketball held during the summer.
Throughout the whole car ride home, I noticed an unusual smile and bit of excitement in my dad’s voice. Knew there was something going on! When we arrive home, he grins at me and says proudly, “The AAU coach wants you to try out for the summer league! ” My mouth drops and grab him and squeeze him tight and he squeezes me back. I was shocked and overjoyed; it felt as if all my hard work had finally paid off Not only did getting chosen to tryout make me happy, but also having physical affection with my dad. It was the first time my dad and I had ever hugged.
Who would have ever thought that a sport could improve a relationship so drastically? The love we had for basketball brought us closer and made is so much easier for us to communicate. Okay! It’s the day of tryouts and I am so nervous, yet anxious. I’d been practicing everyday, shooting jump shots, free throws, dribbling, lay ups, and several other fundamental techniques. I felt confident and I tried my best at tryouts and made the AAU team. I also made the varsity team my freshman year in high school. I couldn’t thank my dad enough for pushing me to become an outstanding player like himself.