Growing up, basketball was always a part of my life.
My mom, a former college basketball player herself, introduced me to the sport at a young age.
And, she didn’t go easy on me.
We used to have these intense one-on-one matches, and she would always come out on top.
It wasn’t until eighth or ninth grade that I finally managed to beat her.
And I promise, I will never forget the moment I first did.
Those battles taught me resilience and the importance of hard work.
But it wasn’t just about the game itself.
It was about the values my mom instilled in me.
Loyalty was one of them.
She always emphasized the importance of being loyal to those who invest in you and care about you.
And that lesson stuck with me throughout my basketball journey.
I’ve carried that with me to my career here in Oakland.
When it came time to choose a college, I had options.
But one school stood out to me: Oakland.
The coaching staff at Oakland made it clear that they were committed to me and my family. They showed genuine care and dedication, and that meant a lot to me.
Rochester Hills felt a lot like my hometown, and I instantly felt comfortable there.
Plus, Coach Kampe had a long-standing reputation for developing players and taking them to the next level.
It felt like the right fit.
But my freshman year was tough.
Physically, I wasn’t ready for the level of play and the intensity of college basketball.
Defensively, I struggled to grasp the intricacies of our zone defense. It was a humbling experience, to say the least.
But I didn’t let that deter me.
I knew I had to put in the work and improve.
And that’s exactly what I did.
I hit the weight room, worked on my skills, and focused on understanding the defense. It wasn’t easy, but I was determined to bounce back.
And bounce back I did.
The following years, I saw more playing time and made a bigger impact on the court.
Some may wonder why I chose not to transfer after receiving limited playing time in my freshman year, but it’s the loyalty instilled in me by my mom that anchored my decision to stay.
I recognized the commitment that both players and coaches had shown towards me, and I felt an obligation to give my best effort in evolving as an integral part of the program.
The journey has been incredible, learning and growing alongside this team.
I take pride in my determination, which has propelled me to become a more significant contributor with each passing year.
Looking ahead, my goals are clear.
I want to help my team win the conference tournament and make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
Those are the dreams of every mid-major team, and I believe we have what it takes to achieve them.
Throughout my college basketball journey, I’ve learned many valuable lessons.
Patience has been key.
It’s important to stay focused on your own journey and not compare yourself to others. And loyalty, well, that’s been ingrained in me from a young age.
I’m grateful for my mom, who stepped up and supported me every step of the way.
Practice has also played a significant role in my growth as a player.
It’s not just about improving my skills, but also about the mentality I bring to the court.
The intense practices and the tough love from the coaching staff have pushed me to become the best version of myself.
It’s these lessons I’ll carry with me to my life after college.
I want to pursue a professional basketball career and experience the thrill of playing at a higher level.
And beyond that, I’m considering sports management or sports broadcasting as potential career paths.
As I reflect on my journey, I can’t help but feel grateful for the opportunities and the people who have shaped me as a player and as a person.
Basketball has been more than just a game to me. It’s been a platform for growth, a way to connect with others, and a source of inspiration.
And so, as I continue on this path, I hold onto the lessons I’ve learned and the values that have guided me.
Loyalty, hard work, and resilience will always be a part of who I am, both on and off the court.
And I’m excited to see where this journey takes me next.