The Bball Journey: Young Love for the Game

The Basketball Journey – Young Love for the Game

One bright sunny day on a Saturday afternoon, a young boy sat in front of the television and watched “SLAMDUNK” the animated series. A vigor and drive vibrated in him, he stood up and imitated the moves made by the players in the show. And the journey of basketball began……

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He started by getting his first ball, a spalding rubber ball. Low quality in other eyes, but a holy grail to him. He brought the ball to the basketball court below his block, and played everyday for the whole summer holidays. He love every minute of it. Clifford was his name.

Then this Clifford’s brother’s friends, who are school team level players, taught him some important tips on defensive stance and hard work. He took it in, and begin to practice at home by himself, watching videos and screening of NBA players workout. He went to watch tournament games at the stadium nearby with his dad. Clifford love for the game grew over time. He quit his original CCA (Co-Curricular Activity), and went full fledge into basketball club. In his first taste of a real match, in a friendly game against Pandan Primary School on National Day in 2003, he sprain three of his finger in the first 5sec of the game. (HAHAHAHAHAHA) But his love for the game, told him, its ok keep going. He played the remaining time of the game with 3 sprain finger, quietly hiding it from the coach and parents, because he wants to play on. And the journey of endurance began……

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For the remaining time in primary school, Clifford trained hard at home everyday, doing 100 crossover, 100 around the body, 100 pass to the wall in the small little balcony at home. He imagine and “played” basketball at home with tissue box and crushed paper. His will to play was relentless (But study he did, so mummy didnt have issue, except when he knocks over the alter items, which I guess Bodhisatva was pretty forgiving of him because of his will).

Then in the fall of 2003, the young boy experienced his first taste of defeat, the kind that brings people to tears. It was an inter-class competition. Being the one so passionate and involve in the game, and also a little bossy, Clifford told his team mates how to play, and asked them to come back to play defense. Being young and un-trained, his classmates walked back to defend. The young boy was left alone to play defense. He did his best, blocked shots and defended multiple position. The result, unsurprisingly, was a lost for them in the first round. Clifford walked off the court upset. He cried, because his teammates didnt want to listen to him, and he didnt know how to motivate them. He cried, because of the loss. It hit him very hard. He reflected. And the journey of failure began……

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The following year, Clifford had a chance to play in the inter-school tournament for the school basketball team. He got his first jersey of his life, the no.4. And that number stayed with him throughout his life. They won 2 and lost 3 games, and got kicked out in the first round. Clifford wasnt happy with the result and effort. He felt that he was not good enough, and so he started to train harder, learn better. The reflection became deeper. He started to think how the game is played as a coach and leader. And the journey of coaching began……

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The early years of basketball, brought the boy learning and meaning the classroom and other endeavours couldnt give. He love the game. And so he journey on with these elements into his next phase.

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