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It all started when I was five years old. My parents bought me a state of the art basketball hoop. I played with it 24/7, in my free time. I have always been fantastic at shooting three pointers and dunking the ball my entire basketball career.
When I was 12 years old I joined my community recreation basketball league in Chicago, Illinois. I was number seven, just like my favorite player Carmelo Anthony on the New York Knicks. He could do it all! By the time I was 13, I tried out for the C.B.C. (Chicago Basketball Club); it is the most exclusive team in Chicago. Sadly, I didn’t make it. So I tried harder and harder each day to get better while I was practicing.
After a while my basketball hoop wasn’t big enough for me anymore so I was forced to use the community hoop in the park. The park wasn’t the safest place to play but I had to practice. By the time I was 16 I could dunk. But that was not what I was known for. It was my fade away jump shot from 10 feet away. I would fall backwards and throw it up in the air and make it. I played small forward on my high school basketball team but I still couldn’t make C.B.C.! In my four years of high school I led my team to three state championships.
Finally my senior year I made C.B.C.! I was so excited! For the past three years whoever has played on the team has gone to Division 1 college basketball. That is one of my dreams, plus I could get a good education if I went to the right school and got a good degree.
After I was done with high school I got a lot of scholarships to different schools. My top 4 choices were Syracuse (because Carmelo went there for college) Kentucky, North Carolina, and Kansas. I decided to go to the Kansas Jayhawks, because they have a great coach and a good organization. Plus I get a full scholarship!
Throughout my time as a Jayhawk, our team went to the Final Four two times and made it to the March Madness tournament every season. I won Player of the Year as a junior. I had the option to go pro or stay in college my senior year. I decided to stay in college to get my bachelor’s degree. I was interested in criminal justice so I got my degree in it. So, after my four years in college, I was ready to go pro at the draft.
I was estimated as the 4th pick overall in the NBA Draft to either the Miami Heat or the Oklahoma City Thunder which are both very good teams. I was leaning toward playing with the Thunder, because they have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on their team. I know you would ask why wouldn’t I want to play with LeBron James and Dwayne Wade? They are ball hogs and they shoot during the game a lot, so I wouldn’t get a fair opportunity to do my thing because they need their points. Finally I got the call from the Thunder organization at about 8:00, and they said they were going to pick me as the 5th overall pick! I put my Thunder hat on and shook Mr. Stern’s hand while thousands of people are watching me on T.V.
I was so excited to play with all the guys on the team! They were a great team and had a good shot at winning the championship! Plus the veterans could teach me a lot about the game and how to do cool tricks. But sadly, we have a very hard schedule this year against good teams. We are supposed to play at Miami 8 times out of the 86 games in the regular season!
By the time the season started in November, I had gone through a lot of training camps and I was named a starter as the shooting guard. I would start the game with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook!
We were known as the Big 3! I averaged 21 points per game, which was 8th in the league but the best as a rookie! I played in the Rising Star game during the All Star Break. I also was in the famous dunk contest! There were a lot of actors there too! I did a flat-footed 360 jump over two benches to win it! It was a crazy experience!
When we finished the season, we were 3rd in the West Conference and first in our division! We were scheduled to play the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs! We swept them in the series 4-0! Next we played the Los Angeles Clippers in the semi-finals. They had the 3rd best record in the league! If we wanted to be world champions we would have to beat them on the way! We won the 1st and 2nd game in Oklahoma City, but they won the 3rd and 4th in Los Angeles. So, obviously, whoever has home court has a big advantage. Since they had the best record they would have the last game.
The whole series Chris Paul was hurt so we had a big advantage. But in the final game he came back to play but he was not 100%. I was averaging 28 points in the playoffs, which was a league high. On the last game of the series it came down to the final seconds. It was 91 to 93 we were losing with three seconds. I passed the ball to Russell Westbrook and he dribbled the ball up the court. He passed it to Kevin Durant (the leader of 3 point %) and he shot it at the three point line while he was falling backwards into me. The ball flew in the air. It was the slowest two seconds of my life. It swooshed and the game was over! We were going to the NBA Finals tomorrow!
After the end of the game we were told that we would play the Miami Heat in the finals. We all were disappointed because they were the best team in the league so we had a small chance at winning. But still we got a whole week to practice and we put in a few new plays for our team.
Soon enough it was game day. The first three games were decided by four points and we lost all of them. We won the next three games. I never realized how good LeBron James and Dwayne Wade are. They have everything you need to be a great basketball player. Some people believe that Chris Bosh is good, but personally I think he is overrated. He only averages 12 points per game.
Now it was the final game and I was suited up in my jersey and ready to go. There were millions of people watching me now and it was my big moment. I wore the same headband I do every game. It was my lucky charm! This night was the most important night of my whole life so far. The tip off went to us and we made our first shot. I had 13 points in the 1st quarter, leading our team. On the other side Dwayne Wade and LeBron James were having a good time lobbing ally-oops to each other for huge dunks for the whole game. We have to pick up the pace.
After halftime, we started passing the ball very well. We were getting the ball to our stars like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. By the end of the 3rd quarter it was 72 to 79 we were losing. This was the last quarter of the season and it was the most important too. I would have to leave it all on the court!
We played our heart out completely. We had lessened the lead to down by five with one minute left. We got down the court and kicked it out to James Harden and he swooshed a deep two! The game was insane! They got the ball and went down the court and tried to waste time but we fouled their worst free throw shooter when he had the ball so he had to shoot the shots. He missed both of the free throws. We ran down the court and swung the ball around. We couldn’t find a good shot! 3...2...1, I let go of the ball and let it fly just as I got hit and I saw the backboard lights go red signaling the end of the game. Wait, I made it for the tie! But there was a foul called! I get to shoot a free throw to win the game! I shot my free throw into the air and I heard the sound of the net swooshing in my ears.
The crowd went crazy and they all ran onto the court and the game was over and we won the NBA Finals!! We were world champions! The Oklahoma City Thunder had never won a title so we made history! I put my championship ring on and felt the confetti fall on my head! It was the greatest feeling in the world.