You came into the life of a young six year old who was confused and lost. I am forever grateful for all the things we’ve been through together. I love you dear basketball.
Not many people understand this love and that’s because they don’t know the experiences you and I have gone through. All thanks to you, I lost a good amount of body fat and I’m gradually building muscle. My balance, coordination, concentration, self-discipline and will to succeed in whatever I put my mind to have been greater than before. I have improved on my endurance to the point where I believe I don’t need to carry around my inhaler 24/7.
I grew up to be shy and reserved; alone with just me, myself and my thoughts. I felt it was Osaze Aruede against the world cuz I don’t think I made so many friends. All that changed when you came along. I’ve made friends both on and off the court with various people from diverse walks of life and age gaps. I’ve made lasting relationships and thinking back, it wouldn’t have happened if not for your involvement.
Like every good friendship, we have the good, the bad, and the ugly sides. I’ve had burns, blisters, and bruises because of you – not to talk about the injuries that made me feel vulnerable. I mostly get in trouble because of you; either I miss an important appointment, or I’m late for that appointment, maybe disturbing the people around me, or just lacking sleep.
But to be fair on your side, I haven’t been the best of a friend either; I constantly pound you to the ground and throw you about like no man’s business hoping that the nylon nets will cushion your fall. I guess you’ve made a lot of friends during those times I would leave you in the care and company of strangers… and you must have felt heartbroken when I would use another man’s ball.
But all the ugly times we had can never compare with the good. You’ve been a best friend to me in more ways than I’ve been to you. I appreciate that. All I can give is my time and dedication and I feel like that isn’t even enough. I recently added a year to my age and I thought of no better way to spend my day than to do it with you. It’s the least I could do. You were there when I felt no one was, and as always, I will try my best to make the time we spend together worth it.
Both of us have big plans to play professionally in the NBA. We’ve had this dream since I was ten. In odd ways, I feel encouraged by you pushing me to give nothing less than 110% to my training and games. We are just steps closer to making that dream a reality.
People will always have something to say. It’s like the Nike mantra: They Talk, We Play. They don’t think it’s realistic, but we’ve got to live our dreams. A toast to the good times we’ve had, and the better ones ahead.
ABOUT the Writer: Osaze Aruede is an undergraduate of the American University of Nigeria; currently studying Communication and Multimedia Design. His interests and hobbies including eating, sleeping, listening to music and watching television series, just to name a few. The dream is to make the NBA, the plan is to have a lasting and noble career, and the goal is to end up in the Hall of Fame and in the conversation of one of the games GOATs (Greatest of All Time). They don’t want to see that happen, so he has to make it happen!