There's No "I" In Team

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Time couldn’t go any slower then it is now, hiding my beat up face in my grandpas chest, those tears sure did get the best of me. Listening to the pounding of his heartbeat, making time go a little bit faster then it has the past 48 hours. Questioning why this all had to happen to me, losing more then winning, thinking I never would have someone who cared so much about me around again. I heard a door shut, and what sounded like the quietest stampede known to mankind, a voice shouted my name. As I looked up curiously with the lines of mascara trickling down my face, I couldn’t of been more surprised to see my entire team standing before me.

Two days earlier walking into our practice was unbearable, not knowing how to explain what I needed to say. Stressing myself out by thinking all I would do is let my team down.
“Hey Alli! You ready to leave tomorrow?” Chloe shouted across the gym.
“I was…” I answered.
“What do you mean you were?” Jessica asked.
As coach walked up to our huddle he explained that I wouldn’t be able to make it to our team trip to Indiana for our basketball games that year. Hearing him say those words was like a fire burning in my ears. The worst part of it was when the tears started building up beneath my eyes getting ready for the downpour, for when I had to explain that the reason I could not go was because my grandma had passed away.

My grandma was like no other grandma, she was the best friend everyone wished they had, she made a good listener and a great shopping partner. She was there for every basketball game of my life. Not only did I call her grandma, but also the entire team called her that too. She was always cheering us on and had the pride we all needed. Everyone always knew that if you looked over in the stands there she would be, of course the loudest out of everyone.

The next day sitting at the funeral home trying to focus on the words of the minister, all I could think about was where my team was right there and then. It was nine in the morning and by this time the team should of already been in Indiana and arriving to warm up for their first game. Knowing that I was not in the car behind them, walking out onto that court with them, ripped my heart apart more then seeing my grandma’s casket sitting before me. I wasn’t being a cruel person, and I did really care about my grandma, I was more than hurt by the fact her face would never appear in this life again. The fact was, she would of wanted me at that game. She would have been telling me that was where I needed to be and where I belonged.
Sitting in this little room listening to what seemed like waterfalls of people I have known my whole life and people I have never known at all. One sound stuck out individually, the sound that I was not expecting to hear that day. As I turned around to look at where the sound was coming from, I felt a million hands on me all at once. Not knowing what was going on or why, I just knew it felt so good knowing they were all there. I couldn’t help myself from fighting off the tears, but they poured out of me like an Alabama rain. Turning around seeing my coach standing there, no words were even good enough to say at this time. The only thing I could say at that time was,
“You missed your game?”
“One game won’t kill us, the important thing was, being here with you through a rough time like this. We’re more then a team; we’re a family. We can make it to our next game after this, you needed to know you have all of us here, losing one person and gaining nine more.” My coach said while bringing me in close for a reassuring hug.
That’s something you will never forget while growing up, that was definitely a time in history that you want to hold on to forever. Knowing you have so many people behind you and they’re there to protect you through thick and thin is the best feeling in the world. Not a day goes by that I don’t want to thank them, taking something away from themselves that they would never get back just to be there for me and my family.
At that moment in time I knew for sure that even though a team is whom you play with during a game and on the court it does not mean you can’t be a team outside of the gym. That moment and on, I knew that if I ever needed someone or something was wrong I had a whole team of people behind me. Even through the rough patches in life and all the ups and downs that come along the way, they will always be there for me. This was more then a team, some how we all managed to become one big family, and that’s what a team truly is.





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