Growing up, few things inspired me. One series of nights led me to watch the NBA finals in 2001, naturally living in LA, my family cheered for the Lakers. So basketball was introduced into my life. I was too chubby; being slow and nonathletic made the game very difficult for me, but something kept me in the game. Fast forward a dozen years and I love and still play the game except now I’m not that bad. Strong, explosive, and passionate. Basketball has been part of my life. Years spent practicing, shooting by myself, studying professional player, envisioning plays, all made me part of who I am today; an engineer, entrepreneur, and inventor to be. But there was a time I lost my love for basketball. Then, I saw Lebron James’s high school dunk contest.
It was summer time and my good friend called me and told me to turn on Sportscenter. I was in middle school, must have been in the sixth grade. Lebron James was phenomenal. His presents on the court was more than just an athletic player. He belonged on the court; not because of his skills or athleticism, rather, because of his goals. When Lebron was a kid in school he asked his teacher why Akron, Ohio, his home town, was not on the map. The teacher told him it was too small. That is when Lebron knew he wanted to put Akron on the map. So he did.
Our greatest adventures are not those which elevate us, but those which elevate what we believe in. For Lebron, his adventure has been to place Akron, Ohio on the map. A journey he had began and taken to great heights but had not entirely fulfilled. When I saw Lebron play, my love for basketball at that time had nearly diminished, but a spark ignited. Passion, hope, belief, all filled my vanes and pushed my blood. Here was a kid who had a dream as a child and had worked hard his entire life to pursue his dream. My life had changed. I began to not only dream, but believe in myself.
When Lebron left Cleveland, my dreams had slightly shattered. My hero left his dream. But I learned a great lesson, my dreams should, and always will, remain with myself and no one else. My passion for basketball slowly diminished. But, today, Lebron James decided to come back and play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. My hopes and memories came back to me. I remember when Cleveland battled against Detroit year after year until they were victorious. I remember when Cleveland made it to the NBA finals and the Cavaliers pregame routine of cheering for “Championship!” Among everything I remember believing, not letting others diverge my aspirations.
“I’m coming home” reads Lebrons Instagram post. This is where he belongs, this is where we, as basketball fans, as dreamers, as believers belong.What basketball brings us is more than a game. Basketball brings us hope: knowing someday our dreams may come true.
Thank you, welcome home.
(image credit to @kingjames on instagram)