My favorite leisure activity is playing, watching, reading, really anything to do with basketball. Basketball is by far my favorite thing in the world. A basketball court is where I feel most at home, and it is the one place on earth I can be where I know what I’m doing and what I’m talking about.
It’s fairly popular in the US (it’s the playoffs right now), and its athletes are extremely polarizing and recognizable, because it’s the one sport where an athlete's face is always exposed, not covered up by a football helmet, baseball cap, or hockey mask.
My favorite time and place is anywhere and anytime. I prefer indoors, although it can be played outdoors, and some even prefer it that way. The classic way that people play is often in a driveway at home, but the best is always against someone on a court.
I started playing basketball because of my original favorite player, Shaquille O’Neal. He was a huge, unstoppable guy. One who was able to do the things that the smaller players did.
So one day, when I was 11-years old, I decided to go outside to the family basketball hoop and take a shot. The basket was originally for my sister, so this was my first time ever shooting a basketball. I will never forget that the first shot I ever took was a perfect, nothing but net. Swish. It felt amazing, and I’ve been in love with this sport ever since.
As far as maintaining my personal identity or personal relationships, someone else’s understanding or even appreciation of basketball isn’t all that important to me. I learned a long time ago that very few people are going to have the passion for this game that I do, or even understand half of the things that I see (and I’m well aware of how much a novice I truly am compared to actual basketball experts) when I watch a basketball game. I’ve always understood that in this area, for the most part, I am alone. Especially coming from the state of Texas, where football is king.
When I play basketball, I feel great, even though I’m not the best of players. When I do good things on the court, I know it’s because I can make up for my lack of athleticism with being a student of the game. As I said earlier, it’s the one place on earth where I am in my element. I don’t worry about school, or family, or problems. I think about whats in front of me, and how I can get the basketball in the hoop.
My obsession with basketball is strange for some people to figure out. I don’t fit any of the stereotypes of people who fall into the line of work involving basketball. I am a large, hispanic male who has had football and the Dallas Cowboys indoctrinated in him from a very early age. I even played football in high school, as opposed to basketball, because I was a better football player. I let the pressure of football get the better of me (a decision that me and my left knee still regret) for the sake of my self esteem.
As I’ve gotten older, I’m thankful that I’ve never gotten over this “phase”, as some thought I would. I am pursuing a degree with which I hope to work in basketball in some capacity, whether it be coaching, scouting, rehabilitating, or anything I can do really. Playing, watching, and reading about basketball fills me with a sense of enjoyment that I truly do feel that very few people can match.