Every child’s dream
As a child, I was gifted with the gift of athleticism. Athletically, I was a head and shoulders above my peers. I could do it all, and was always the best member of my team. I was a great player in football, baseball, basketball and, eventually, hockey. As a twelve-year-old, thirteen-year-old, fourteen-year old, and fifteen year old, I was the tallest player on my basketball team. Basketball is an incredible sport. I wasn’t able to sustain the pain of wind-sprints, nor was I able to make 100% of my shots. But I was the leader in rebounding and scoring under the rim. My jump shot was not great and I didn’t really practice drills much. I was eventually outgrown by people, and I was no longer among the tallest children my age. Basketball was, at least for my livelihood, out of reach. Those few years, though, were the best of my life. I had success that made me realize I could be great. I won all the 1 on1 tournaments in the county because of my height and speed. I sent my kids to the tournament, where their dads were watching them from the sidelines, coaching them like madmen (you know, the parents who demand success). After beating them so easily, they came home in tears. Some of them were best until they played me. Although I was never over 6’0, it was enough for me to shine without much practice.
You have a “heads-up” on your competition
The easiest job in any sport is if your height exceeds 7’0. If you are good enough to make it to a professional team, you will enjoy a lavish life and not have to worry about being injured. It was easy for me to see the difference when I was slightly taller that most of my fellow players in the county basketball league. If I had had the courage to continue playing instead of quitting, I would have had a great time. I was the fastest and could also throw my weight around. In my middle teens, when everyone was beating me up, I found myself easily intimidated by my insecurity about everything (another story). Even though I wasn’t insecure as a teenager, I still would be intimidated by my height (height is an amazing weapon). Although I would have to practice more if I wanted the pros to see me, I wouldn’t have needed to do anything too drastic. I think I could have done enough work to get by.
Dude! Don’t waste it!
I envy those who are taller than 6’10”, and have athletic skills. Don’t be afraid to practice if you are. Because there are few people who have good coordination, you have a great chance of reaching the top. Do not be intimidated by large men. Do not feel intimidated if you’re a Caucasian. It’s what it is. Some of my closest friends, when I played basketball regularly, were from a different race. Basketball is more so than any other sport. People who are shorter need to improve their jumping skills if they want the opportunity to play in the pros. However, as I mentioned, being a center in a pros team is a high-paying, fun, and pure creampuff job. It’s a great time to be young.