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Final Four

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jambal23
Words 1502
Pages 7
Jamal Johnson
Final Four
I have had a lot of special events happen in my life. Some events are more important than others but all the same each event has a significant meaning. Basketball is my favorite thing to do, it always has been, and all my life, well since I can remember I have always played the game, it was one of the first thing I picked up as a child. As I got older I started to compete and every game I played I tried to be the best player on the court. As I got older I started to gain a reputation as being a good player especially once I got to high school.
I went Andress high school, in the city of El Paso, Texas. Located right next to the border of Mexico. The city of El Paso is one of those cities that constantly gets looked over on athletically. Schools in the inner cities, like Dallas and Houston looked at us as if we weren’t able to play the game on the same level as they did because of where we are from. My senior year we were able to finally break the cycle. We became the first team in our city to make it to the state tournament. We fell short in the final four but we still changed a lot of people’s thoughts when it came to how my school competed. Just being a part of a team that changed history of my city.
Many of my teammates were sad that we had lost, but I knew after the game I had played my heart out. I was proud that my team was even able to make it that fair of course I had wished we had one but I left that game without any regrets, because I know I had given it all I had. This event has to be the most significant events in my life. I will remember this for my entire life, that I lead my team to the final four. Not many people where I come from can say something like, so I hold it almost as an honor. I talk to people every day from back home in Texas and they still talk about my last year team and how talented we were, and how they don’t think it would ever be a team like us again.
Every round to the state tournament got more intense than the previous. Every position became vital to the game’s outcome. The junior year my team made it to the elite eight, which is still the furthest any team from El Paso. That year for our final game, we made a lot of mistakes, we had a lot of turnovers and plays where we just weren’t communicating enough. I was privileged to have been on the court for that game because I used that experience as a learning experience going into my senior year. I used that game as motivation going into my senior year to do whatever it takes to make sure what happened my junior year, didn’t happen again. The summer of my senior year I spent a lot of time in the summer in the gym, trying every day just to get better at things I weren’t so great at, and tried to master the things I did do well. This really prepared me for the upcoming season. There would be times I didn’t feel like going to the gym to work out and I would still push forward and go, because every time I thing about my senior season, I just start thinking about the heartbreaking lose my seniors suffered my junior year when we lost to Amarillo high school by fifteen points. Once my senior year started everyone was excited for our season. The whole city new the potential we had coming in from last season. With only five of our seniors graduating we had eleven returners, coming into our last season. We knew from the beginning that this could be our last shot at making something special happen for our city. We carried a heavy load for our community and we carried it with pride. Every practice was hard, everything we did was at full speed and no one cut any corners. So when the season came around we steam rolled through every other team in the city.
Playoffs came around, everything just seemed to slow down. The nervousness had went away, the crowd seemed to not make as much noise, maybe because we had been in this position before. We saw what it took to win, and we experienced what it felt like to lose. Everything just seemed to fall in place for us as if it was meant for us to be in that position, we breezed through every round into the state tournament.
The night before the final four game, I remember I couldn’t sleep. Everything was running through my head, all the “what ifs”, I was so anxious to play that I probably got a good three hours of sleep the whole night. We all worked so hard to get here I just felt the victory in my hands, I could almost taste it. We were getting ready to play the Lancaster Tigers, which were ranked 15th in the nation that season. This was definitely going be one of the hardest games of all of our lives. Hours before tipoff my nervous begin to finally set in, I didn’t want to mess up, my whole family was going to be watching, all of my friends and relatives were getting ready to see me play the biggest game of my life on TV. When I walked into the arena, you can just feel the energy in the building. Everything was just as I had dreamed it was going to be. This is when I started to calm down and the nervousness went away, I felt like I’ve been in this position before, I thought about all the work I had done this season just to get to this point. My mind went blank, this is when I knew I was ready to play. The game started out fast just as I expected, the other team out sized us so we had to do what we could with our speed to make up for our height. We were down almost the whole game, but we played hard every single quarter. We cut down the double digit lead to four points, but then Lancaster started to pull away again. At halftime we were down by nine points, in the locker room you could feel the look of defeat on everybody’s face. I ended the game with fifteen points and four assist, which lead my team, it wasn’t the most I ever scored in the game but as a whole it was the best game I played in my life. I was proud that in my last high school game, on that big of a stage I was able to perform in the manner I did in front of all the people that watched me grow up. A lot of people aren’t blessed to have that opportunity I was just fortunate that I was given a team full of amazing hard working individuals that knew how to work together.
I have had a lot of significant moments in my life. Some more important than others. Like the time I won my first spelling bee, the time I first learned how to ride a bike. But as the most significant event in my life as of right now, has to be when I went to the final four with my team. That game although we didn’t win. Meant so much more to our community and our city, friends and families. Nobody but the people who played on that court cared about the outcome of that game. Our city was just so proud that a bunch of kids from little old El Paso, Texas were able to work together to reach a common goal, and represent the city in the way that we had. All the people that didn’t believe that we were able to make it that far were astonished and ate there words. We all became living legends in the city, people who don’t even watch basketball knew who we were. Kids and who weren’t even interested in playing basketball, or attending Andress high school started to consider going to my school and send letters to my coaches saying they wanted to be a part of the program. We changed a lot for our younger generation, and that is the most important thing to me throughout this whole experience. A lot of the violence in my community calmed down, it was like for that moment we were in everything stopped, and all of El Paso came together and cheered us on even in our defeat, this will forever be the most significant event in my life.

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