Below is the newest.. a little more time invested and such. I will probably go back and make the passages less flowery de-flower if you will
but otherwise I fell alot better about this one. again brutal honesty accepted and respected..
My hands slide effortlessly over the worn leather searching for their home in the grooves. I maneuver past one defender, spin past another, let the ball kiss off the backboard and pass through the net. This is a place where eloquent aggression gives birth to deceptive fluidity in a way that would engender envy in a ballerina. This is a sanctuary where my afflictions are admonished and fears relinquished. It is a place where I can forget the pains of which the world seems to never give enough. This is where I have matured from childhood to manhood, where I have learned some of my most important lessons and fought some of my toughest battles. This is the basketball court, and from an early age it has been my haven.
Although I have never played basketball for a team, I have played since I was very young. The first goal I ever played on was also my favorite, an old bucket with the bottom cut out nailed to the side of my house at some indeterminate height. The point wasn’t for it to be nice, expensive, or even dependable. The point was for me learn the methods of the game; be it against imaginary defenders, inanimate objects, or people. I would close my eyes and pretend I was on a court leading a team to victory or doing all I could to avoid defeat.
The way I learned to play basketball was in no way typical, being taught and played by a woman who was over six feet tall and had been the first captain of an ACC powerhouse. Fortunately for me she was also my mother. Being raised by a single parent can be difficult for everyone involved, child and parent alike. But we had a bond that few in our situation had, and that was through the love of basketball. Some particular traits I inherited through playing her was a drive to win and an attitude on the court that told me to never stop, no matter how tired I was or how much it hurt. She taught me that the game was won and lost through effort; whoever gave the most would do the best.
Naturally, as I got better, I wanted to see how my capabilities truly measured up against the best I could find resulting in a search for more challenging competition. Every time I tested these waters I emerged with a new perspective and approach. I became well versed in the intricacies of reducing my opponent to a set of weaknesses that could be exploited for my success. As my experiences progressed my competitiveness heightened. The next step in my journey was the most difficult for numerous reasons and would prove to be the one of the defining moments in both my relationship with basketball and my life.
Tryouts for my high school’s basketball team required the survival of conditioning, both mental and physical. We had to be simultaneously athletic and intuitive to beat our opponent through manipulation of their aforementioned points of weakness. We had to be able to execute regardless of the circumstance. None of the preceding requisites proved to be the locus of my shortcoming. In the process of being medically cleared to play my doctor discovered that I had severe hypertension coupled with a heart murmur. These two ailments in conjunction with one another were conducive to cardiac complications at any moment of overexertion. The doctor was surprised that I wasn’t displaying any outward indicators such as numbness in my extremities or experiencing symptoms such as kidney failure or difficulty breathing.
The news was as shocking as it was disheartening. I had worked so hard to only have my dream stolen away by something that was out of my control. I would be lucky to not have a heart attack before my forties much less participate in competitive basketball. I decided otherwise. I researched my condition, methods of alleviation and courses of correction. I drastically altered my diet, my lifestyle and my approach to training. The intensity that burned inside refused to dwindle and drove my voracious disposition to new heights.
College proved to be a proverbial test of my dauntlessness through the introduction of a slew of new competition. My athletic abilities and intellectual understanding of the game developed to a profound level and resulted in one of the proudest moments of my life. On one of my more ravenous days I realized the school’s coach had been intently critiquing my abilities and competency in the sport. Shortly thereafter I was invited to tryouts as one of only three players not recruited outwardly by the school. An offer that is rarely seen and afforded me the notion that I was capable enough to compete on a level for which a select few are qualified.
I have discovered through my hardships that perseverance allows me to overcome my burdens and realize my dreams. It is at this point in my pedantic pursuit of personal galvanization that another endeavor bides me into its presence. The intellectual pursuit of law has been lingering in my self-conscious for some time and at this point is brought to light in an effort to begin a new direction in my self-discovery. Taking the drive I learned through my aversion to adversity will allow me to survive and excel through the methodical and cerebral rigors that the study of law provides. Emory University’s progressive expertise in Intellectual Property and partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology through the TI:GER program coupled with its excellence in diversity make it the perfect place for me to begin the pursuit of my goals in law.