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3, 2, 1, and the final whistle blew! The basketball game was over and we had won in overtime! My team from Central Bucks had beaten all of my friends from Council Rock, an unbelievable upset. A good friend and coach, Irv Magill, gave me the opportunity to go to Delaware to play in the Tri-State Maccabi Games for Central Bucks in 2003, and it was an experience I will never forget.
Practice, practice, practice, and more practice. I traveled about an hour two times a week for a few months to participate in a two hour long practice for this team. It was essential for me to make a full commitment to this team because each practice we had together was crucial to our success. I learned the importance of team and how every member needs to give their best effort in order for the team to work as a whole. I learned the importance of working together to achieve a common goal. I put every ounce of effort that I possibly could into this team. They say “practice makes perfect” and although our team was far from perfect, the dedication that we put forth into making ourselves better paid dividends.
“Quality is better than quantity.” Our team was dependent on this statement. Although the skill level of our team was fairly low, we had one advantage over every other team in the tournament; we had the best coach and we knew it. Irv’s knowledge and ability to teach is extraordinary and was why we were able to have any sort of success at the Maccabi Games. Through Irv, I not only learned a lot about the game of basketball, but I learned a lot about life and the importance to always try your best at whatever you do. I also learned that there is always someone better than you that can teach you as long as you’re willing to learn. You may not be the best at something, but if you work hard and put your hard work to use, anything is possible.
The “American Dream.” The idea that presented with the opportunity this great country of ours gives us, we can overcome all obstacles, break through all barriers, and achieve anything we put our minds to. Yes, my journey to the Maccabi Games may be an extremely scaled version of this idea, but it fits the mold. We were extreme underdogs (probably the worst team in our age group), but we practiced so hard and were taught so well that we pulled though and were victorious. I may have been just twelve years old but I learned an extremely important lesson. It’s this lesson that’s given me my drive to do well in middle school and high school, and it’s this drive that will make me continue to succeed in college and in the workplace. This is what I want to teach others. The “American Dream” (or some form of it) is out there; you just need to have that dream and go after it.
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