That’s what my high school basketball coach told me after having joined the team just a few weeks ago. Basketball was still a new sport to me. I had not played much basketball growing up but fell in love with the sport instantly.
My coach knew my grades and wanted to set an example to the other teammates that academic excellence was equally important as your on court basketball excellence. She saw the potential in me and made me the co-captain of the team. She made our star varsity player the other co-caption of the team. In practice, I was paired with the best basketball player we had on the team and he taught me better techniques in dribbling, shooting free throws, and taking jump shots. During our lunch break, I would tutor our best basketball player in math. My coach had orchestrated a genius plan to harness our individual strengths and use that to help members of the team. Since I was new to the game of basketball, she encouraged me to pick up handball to improve my hand to eye coordination. She was always looking out for me and I thank her so much!
After my high school varsity team experience, I played intramural basketball in college, pick up games, and even annual basketball tournaments. The basketball court is where I belong. In a way, playing basketball is a language for me that enables me to connect with individuals from all walks of life, from various corners of the world, and feel a sense of belonging. My high school basketball coach helped me find a place where I felt a sense of belonging.