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Failure

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My eyes lock in on the rim. The ref says, “One and one, play it off the miss.”
I think, put this one in to seal up the game. It’s 63-60 with 18.9 seconds left. One, two, three dribbles. The shot goes up. That wasn’t a good release, it’s off. It rims out.

The clock winds down with the student section chanting “DEFENSE! DEFENSE!” They make one pass and throw up a deep three pointer. No way that’s going in. DJ had a hand right in his face and he double-clutched it. Swoosh, 63-63. We pass the ball in. I look up.
Ok seven seconds left. I dribble up the right sideline but then get cut off by a defender. I go around my back with the ball to change direction. Then the whistle blows. The ref points down at the line and signals the other way. Our coach calls time. We’re fine. We’re going to get a stop right here and send it to overtime. 3.2 seconds left.
They inbound the ball and then make on more pass. The shot goes up. Miss it, miss it. The ball bounces off the backboard and falls through the hoop. Game over. And season over.
One team, four coaches, and 1,000 people are left disappointed. I had two opportunities to help our team win the game and I failed both times. Failure is a part of life and everyone does it at some point. But failing gives me determination to succeed. It gives me the motivation to strive for perfection. It gives me a never-give-up mentality.
And no matter how many times I fail out on the court, I’m always going to want the ball in my hands at the end of the game with the ref saying, “One and one, play it off the miss.”



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