Breaking the Barrier – Final – BLOG 2
Most people who played sports growing up don’t get the luxury to compete at the next level, especially for sports that have few team members. The odds of going into different college sports are different because of the number of players on each team. For example, the number of scholarships offered for college football is dramatically more than those offered for basketball in division 1 schools (85-13). Approximately 3.1 percent of high school senior boys who play interscholastic basketball will go on to play men’s basketball at an NCAA member institution.
However, if you want something bad enough, you must set goals and do all you can to achieve them.
That is what happened to my younger brother. Choosing to live and love basketball since he was a young boy, my brother was able to keep his love alive as he played basketball this year for the Ohio Valley University Fighting Scots.
My brother set his sights on playing basketball at the next level for years. He found a mentor who gave him wisdom and objectivity to help him with his future. He developed his game plan to accommodate not only his needs, but the team’s needs. He set goals and followed through. With self-motivation, he kept the inner drive to push hard.
“Max is someone who I saw had the potential to be a great asset to our team,” graduate assistant Deshawn McCain said, “So, I knew I had to bring him in to be part of our group.”
Being only a freshman and not expecting a lot of playing time, my brother was in it simply for the experience. He really wanted to know what it was like to play basketball at the collegiate level.
Though it could have been difficult missing class and keeping up with assignments and homework, being a college athlete teaches you balance and organization. It also teaches you to be coachable and approachable. It teaches you attitude and trust. And it ultimately teaches you about life skills that will assist you for the rest of your life.
With all the stories I heard from his traveling experience, funny videos from nights in the hotels, all the good meals he got to eat, it really made it clear that collegiate sports are about team bonding. You build long-lasting relationships and make memories that you will never forget.
My brother stated, “I just want to be able to tell my kids someday that I played college basketball. I want to give them hope.”