I have something a little weird to tell you: I have 27 basketballs. Let me explain.
As a young boy I would watch basketball. Just watching LeBron James dunk or watching one of the smartest players, Chris Paul, just do his thing really spoke to me.
I don’t really watch basketball anymore, but I still play. I’m average in basketball. I’m no Stephen Curry, but I believe when you’re doing something, you need to be fully determined.
That’s where it started. I was around 7, and in a basketball camp. The coach was really nice and kind. But she was strict. I remember the last day of that camp, when she told my campmates and me that when life is flipped on its side, you need to work twice as hard because you’re getting nowhere without hard work and determination. You need to believe in yourself, and you tell life you’ll fight back.
I probably didn’t get that four years ago, but now I do. I think my coach means that when you’re in a fight-or-flight situation, you can’t flee. You need to fight with what you have.
That’s when the collection started. I got that first basketball from the basketball camp. I keep my basketballs in my garage, and I like to keep them in their cases or original boxes, except for the one my coach gave me. I’m basically saying my garage looks like a store!
My neighbor has a basketball hoop, and sometimes I take that first basketball and I play. I think we should all take a page from my coach’s book and fight with all you’ve got.
Colleen Topping’s sixth-grade class, Manor Oaks Elementary School, New Hyde Park