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Things are not looking good for the Griffins. They have just lost the slight lead they had over their opponent and they seem extremely fatigued. To make matters worse, there are only a few minutes left in the game. My legs feel weak and tell me that they need rest, but I reply that now is not the time. I look up the court just in time to see the opposing team's power forward intercept a lazily thrown pass and he breaks for the basket. I immediately recognize that I am the only one in a position to stop him and so without thinking, I find myself blocking the charging forward's path to the basket. There is no time to think or evaluate options... I stand firm. We brace for impact - and what an impact it is! A hush falls over the gym; everyone knows that the following call could very easily determine the game's outcome. Dazed and confused, we look eagerly at the official (who seems to be thoroughly enjoying the sudden attention). CHARGE! Offensive foul! The gym erupts with emotion, and in the Griffins emerges a newfound sense of pride and energy. It proves to be just enough to carry them over a fierce Tigers team to clinch the Regional Championship.
No opportunity that I've had throughout high school has had greater meaning to me than the opportunity to play varsity basketball. I wholeheartedly believe that my basketball experience has taught me countless important lessons and has provided an excellent medium for me to grow as a person. In the future, when I look back and reminisce about my high school years, being a part of the Griffin basketball program is sure to be my most memorable and significant experience.
It would be wrong to give the impression that I only like playing basketball because of the lessons to be learned by the experience. I don't even think about such things when I am on the court. Simply put, I love playing the game and spending time with my teammates. As far as recreation goes, there is nothing that I would rather do than lace up my sneakers and play ball with a group of close friends.
Actual court time, however, is but a single part of my basketball experience. I have learned a great deal over the past three basketball seasons, but only a little of it has to do with pick-and-rolls or free-throw shooting techniques. Presented with any sort of challenge a few years ago, I would have been full of uncertainty and possibly even fear. As a sophomore starting on Varsity, however, it didn't take me long to realize that there is absolutely no room for such shyness in basketball. To be successful on the court, one must never feel intimidated or reserved. This unabashed mentality apparently manifested itself onto other aspects of my life, and the results have been very positive. I have learned not to be afraid of pursuing my goals. In order to achieve them, I know that I must pursue them boldly and with great fortitude. Now, trying something new or deviating from the normal path is not such a big deal anymore. From academics to personal matters, the lessons of determination and relentlessness that I have learned from basketball have had an immeasurable impact on my life. As Sir Winston Churchill once said, one needs to "look for the opportunity in every difficulty, as opposed to the other way around."
Playing varsity basketball has instilled in me a fierce will to achieve and embrace my ambitions as opposed to fearing them. I am extremely fortunate to have gained these qualities while playing the sport that I love. The combination of the beautiful game and my fantastic teammates has made Griffin Basketball the best experience of my life.
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