By Jose Luiz Sarabia
It was a Friday afternoon, around 5 p.m., and I decided to go shoot some hoops with my neighbors. When we arrived at “El Parque de Los Bomberos,” there were many people shooting hoops. So, we agreed to play a game, and we randomized the teams.
When I play basketball with people I don’t really know, we first discuss a team plan. We all talk about what we are good at. We use those strengths to achieve victory.
Most of the time we are not good at everything, but we all have at least one strength. When we started playing that Friday, we realized that our opponents were very tall and had a big advantage over us. Our team found out their weakness: shooting.
McKinley eighth grader Martin Morelos was not scared to play versus the tall opponents. He said “heart over height,” meaning that you don’t need to be tall to dominate the game. Size doesn’t matter.
While one of my teammates was shooting a three, another was waiting to get the rebound, just in case he misses. We kept on working together to win the matches. All our strengths were put together to make an indestructible team.
We made sure that we had the ball at all times. Finding their weakness and taking advantage of that made it possible for us to beat a team that once looked impossible.
Ever since that Friday, whenever I go to that park I am eager to play with new people because playing with the same people is boring. Also, there is no competition because you know each other’s moves / jukes.
Playing basketball allows me to meet new people from different perspectives. Playing basketball with different people is my community.
When playing, I can meet new types of people, and I get the opportunity to learn new moves from them. When playing basketball, I can build a bond with people I don’t really know or talk to.
When I was playing basketball, Morelos taught me a new move that I keep in consideration whenever I play. He told me to “body people out and go for the layup” and showed me that when the ball comes near me I should put it up to the basket.
McKinley eight grader Martin Morelos makes a behind-the-back layup.
Many people play basketball for various reasons. For example, Everest freshman Estevan Rodriguez said he plays basketball as a stress reliever, adding that when he has a rough day, he just goes home and shoots some hoops.
Playing basketball can also become fun and competitive between the other opponents. Each opponent brings their own advantage to the game. For example, one advantage in basketball is being tall because you can get the rebounds. However, you don’t need to be tall for shooting; you can be an awesome shooter without the height.
Many people think you might not be good at basketball because you are short, but basketball is not all about your height. You can be 4’10’’ and you could be a good shooter. Anyone can play basketball, no matter how tall you are.
Morelos shows that y0u don’t have to be tall to play basketball.
Being tall can give you an advantage over your opponents, but height doesn’t win you the basketball game. When I play basketball, I always hear the stereotype that says, “You guys are going to win because you have all the tall people.” That saying is incorrect in my opinion because being tall helps your team, but it doesn’t win the game automatically.
For example, Rodriguez said, “Height doesn’t matter because there are people in the NBA that are 5’4’’ and they are very good.” You don’t need to be tall to play basketball.
When playing basketball it can be frustrating when you keep on missing, just hitting airballs. That’s how we all start. When we do something new, we don’t really know how to master it right away. When I started to play basketball I kept on air balling, but I learned different ways to shoot from people in my neighborhood.
When I play basketball I miss a lot, but I can learn from those misses. I can learn to add / take away power from my shot. One important quote that sticks to me comes from my sister, Taft sixth grader Melisa Sarabia, who said, “You will make mistakes, but you will still grow and succeed if you keep on trying.”