Life is about loving, but what if the one thing you loved didn’t love you back? Most of us fell in love with girls, some of us with money and power, but the thing I fell in love with was a dream. I was five years old when I first held a basketball. I was eight when I first held a PSP and played NBA. I was obsessed with the game, even though I do not understand what it was for. I was 10 when I first played the real deal, and I immediately fell in love with it.
To the young motivated athlete I was, thank you for the tireless efforts. The countless hours you’ve played. The large amount of money you spent on camps and shoes. The energy you put up every minute of training. The high intensity play you brought up with you and your teammates. It was all because of hope and love. Regardless of the lapses and flaws you have in your game, you strived to get better. You out-hustled the hustle. You grinded day-in-and-day-out. You loved the hate. You loved the competition it gave you. The rubbery smell of the ball, the squeaky sound of the court, the bruises it gave your knees, you loved them all. You hated losing, and you’d do whatever it took to win. You loved the pain and you loved the criticism. Remember when you almost didn’t sleep and waited for 3 a.m. to shoot around while there was still no one on the court? You were an optimist — a hopeful little kid that wanted to play the game all you could. It was all because of a dream—a dream of making it into the big leagues, and so it remained a dream.
To the successful adult athlete I will never be, I’m sorry to tell you that you won’t exist. Even though I really wanted you to exist, some things are never really meant to happen. The dream I had when I was 12 remained a dream up to this day. I know you’ll visit me on the day I’m on my deathbed, so as early as now, I want to say sorry. I had my lapses, and I thought skill would fill it, but it didn’t. I had my flaws, and no matter how much I loved the game, the game didn’t love me back. Those flaws kept me down to rock bottom. The hopeful kid back then realized how unfair things would be. I know in myself that I could’ve made you a reality, but the game’s heart wasn’t focused on me. It had its heart for Gulliver. I risked everything for you, even though they told me to stop. All my teammates lost their hope for opportunity upon seeing Gulliver, but I begged to differ. I wanted to soar high and test the distance, but yet the fine line of hard work and god given talent pushed me down. It’s hard to see your dreams fade right before your eyes. It’s hard to forget the one thing that gave you purpose.
To all aspiring athletes out there, work hard for your dream. Test the distance and excel at your sport. If you really want to play the sport you love for a living, don’t give up and train your heart out. I gave you an example, a taste of reality. But my reality is not the same for you. You have a choice to change it. Even though I had no power to change mine, I want to inspire you to change yours.
To the young motivated athlete I was, may you be an example of who to tolerate. And to the successful athlete I will never be, may you be a warning, an example, and a wakeup call to all of them.