Being a basketball player isn’t always about the games and the wins and losses. It’s also about building a legacy and being an inspiration and role model to the younger generation.
As high school students, we sometimes don’t realize how many little girls actually look up to us and want to be just like us. As a senior, this year has opened my eyes to this thought. Each year as a team we help out the elementary school girls basketball program. Each team member is assigned an elementary team with a specific color and every Saturday morning we go to their games and sit on the bench to cheer them on. We get to know each and every player on our assigned teams. They love to give high fives and start up new conversations about anything and everything. From time to time when we reach a big game, like our first playoff game coming up on Monday night, they come and cheer us on in the stands. They love to track our progress and we love getting to interact with them every week.
Our junior varsity coach, Erika Gallagher, is a new fourth grade teacher at Rossmoyne Elementary School. This year our team became pen pals with her class. Every week we have written letters back and forth to each other talking about Christmas, sports we play, our favorite foods and much more. This past Friday something special occurred: we got to leave school for a little over an hour and go to Rossmoyne to have lunch and recess with them. For most of us, this was our first time meeting our pen pals, so the time was spent introducing ourselves and catching up on recent events.
When we left their class they were asking us when our next game was and when we were going to come back, and if we really had to leave right now. That day open my eyes to the idea that the younger generation looks up to us not just for being basketball players, but for the type of people we are. I will continue to strive to set a great example for younger kids. I hope to have great success in the playoffs so these kids can continue to follow our status and want to follow in our footsteps.