Basketball became a staple in my life when the boys basketball coach at my elementary school decided to make a girls basketball team. There were not many organized sports for girls at that time at the elementary level. I watched basketball on TV, but had never played. Once I learned the sport, I immediately fell in love. Because of my tumultuous home life, basketball became my outlet to get away from home - to dream, imagine, and express myself. It became another means for me to challenge myself other than academically.
I went on to play on the varsity team my freshman year in high school. My "career" ended my sophomore season when I got pregnant. It was heartbreak. My life had no direction after that. I didn't play again until I graduated and enlisted in the army. I played on every base team at which I was stationed. Basketball put me on a high like nothing else could. After playing a game one day, my four year old daughter said, "Mommy, is it my turn to play?" That ended up being the start to her basketball career. She played on her first organized team in fourth grade and she was AMAZING! I'm not being biased when I say that either - all the parents and the coach were astonished at her skill and knowledge of the sport. After winning a full athletic scholarship to Mizzou, she went on to be drafted in the WNBA in 2006.
What does basketball mean to me? In one word - LOVE!