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What Basketball Means To Me

Basketball means so much around the world. I'll share with you what it means to me. Basketball can be played anywhere. Basketball can be played by anyone. Basketball is beautiful! 

Growing up basketball played a huge role in my upbringing. My grandfather's were huge baseball guys, but dad fell in love with the game of basketball. We always had a hoop in my grandparents driveway, since we lived on the same street! They had the better court for sure! 

Countless times growing up I was able to witness my dad and uncle have epic one on one battles. Eventually I had my own turn, to challenge dad. Early on he kicked my butt, but as I practiced and got better eventually I returned the favor. My dad was also my coach for many years, thru his tutelage I always made key plays every year. We won quite a lot. 

Every summer mom and dad would send me to UMass basketball camp, during the Calipari years. I tell ya those were the glory days. Not only did I get a week of all basketball, but I was able to stay with my grandparents during that time. Every year I played on some pretty good teams, I even took home an MVP award. 

Once my playing days were over I became a Coach at the school I worked at. They were inner city kids with some behavior issues. We used basketball as a way to encourage them to clean up those behaviors and keep their grades up. Mind you they were 4th and fifth graders. Not only did they win a lot but their desire to succeed in class was even greater. Took them all to their first UMass game, and they even played on a college campus court. 

As a father myself I brought all my kids to see the Celtics. A huge part of my basketball history and love is growing up watching the C's with my dad and on vhs tapes he recorded games on. Not sure about anyone else but I tried to emulate Larry Bird regularly. For you Jordan fans I practiced his moves as well. 

I've been lucky enough to have visited the old Boston Garden for not only a game but a tour when it was going to close. They let us walk around the out of bounds lines. Told us not to step on the parquet, but dad and I stepped where Larry hit that three against the Rockets in the Finals. We are a part of Celtics history. 

Basketball has been a therapy for me. When my grandpa passed away six years ago, we had tickets for a preseason game in Amherst. We still decided to go and it was what we both needed after such a hard day. When I lost my mom, and had life threatening injuries, the Celtics and basketball were my escape. I remember taking dad and seeing Paul Pierce score his 20 thousandth point as a Celtic. This past year we brought dad to watch the C's to celebrate his birthday and retirement. 

So many events in Springfield, seeing Jordan off his first title and getting to give him a high five. Waiting for Larry after Magics enshrinement and getting to shake his hand, Magics too. So many basketball greats I've had the pleasure to meet. Basketball holds a special place in my heart and always will. I could go on and on. 

Thanks Dr Naismith. 



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