They can start off when we’re young and they can come alive when we’re older…

At 12 years old when I was here in this gym at a local shelter called Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles, California this was the ignition of dreams. I would play basketball in the afternoon when the mentors who worked there would offer up a time to go in the gym and shoot or even play. I wouldn’t say it was an escape from reality but I’d say is that playing basketball definitely encouraged me learn something new and also increase joy of doing something that not only kept me out of trouble but also kept me excited. It started off with playing and knowing that I can be good at this game but what I was lacking at the time was education of the game.

However it wasn’t too long till I started watching basketball and watching players play the game like never before. By the age of 13, I ended up entering the foster care system after having to make a conscious decision between my circumstances and knowing what’s best for my being. The first sport I started playing after entering the foster care system was American Football, which was quite interesting, but however, my heart did not feel like it was in the game. Before walking away from that sport, I jumped into basketball and for whatever reason when it came to basketball, there wasn’t a clear reason for me to stay but then there wasn’t a clear reason for me to leave. I mean yes, being 14 years of age at 6’3 you’d assume I should be playing a sport, if not basketball but hey… Only time can tell. Anyway, 2007 was when my perception of the sport changed and I decided that basketball was going to be part of my life.

I was watching the 2007 NBA playoffs and during the time I had a fractured left tibia so I had to sit out for a while. The Los Angeles Lakers were playing the Phoenix Suns and it came down to the last few moments towards the end of the game. In regulation, Kobe Bryant (greatest Laker of all time) had tied the game in regulation with a sweet floater (a type of basketball shot) after a steal by Smush Parker and then somehow ended up going into overtime. The change of the game just drew me in and I was highly fascinated with what had happened during the time. To make a long story short, the Luke Walton forced a jump ball in overtime and then with less that 6 seconds left and the Lakers being down 1-point, the Los Angeles comes up with the possession and by no surprise, the ball ends up in the hands of Kobe Bryant. He dribbles from one side of the court to the opposite elbow high post area to knock down a fade-away jump shot and then as the buzzer went off, the ball went in the hoop with the commentator saying “BANGGG!”… The crowd went wild, the players were jumping up and down running on the court towards Kobe Bryant and when that happened, I became inspired to play the game because of the excitement, the determination, the drive, the passion, the love, the will to not give up, etc.

That’s a long story but moral of it is if you’re dream chaser or you desire more than just the ordinary, always remember what inspires you in the first place to keep on going or even your why. Dreams are worth going for but remember, every level that you go through to pursue your dreams requires a different version of you and if you’re willing to find out who you are and who you become whilst chasing your dreams then go for it but if not, then allow someone else to take the steering wheel and guide ‘your’ vehicle. Go chase….

Think well to live well 🙂

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