Our Dream | Teen Ink

Our Dream

March 15, 2021
By samH SILVER, Delafield, Wisconsin
samH SILVER, Delafield, Wisconsin
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I was in a really bad mood. I got dragged to another family function at my aunt and uncles in Milwaukee and was 45 minutes away from my Nintendo Wii. So, I ended up taking out my frustration on my older cousin Vince out in the yard. As I sat on the couch thinking about how I would get revenge on the world, my uncle Chris sat down next to me. I think he was trying to cheer me up when he said, “...you know Sammy, I had a dream of you playing basketball when you get older.” I told him, “ Thats a stupid dream because I’m not playing any sports at the moment. I’m bored with baseball, bad at basketball and I’m kind of over football too.”

 That was one of the last conversations I had with my uncle Chris because a week later he died in an accident. I would honor his dream and give basketball my best shot.

I started in 6th grade halfway through the season with the Kettle Moraine “B” team. I only had one friend on the team, so I felt like a total outcast. On the third day, we did a shooting drill that I shot so terribly that my teammates and coach made fun of me. 

I cried on the way home and told my mom that I wanted to quit basketball. My mom gave me some of her best motherly advice:  “You can't keep quitting, Sam. You need to start seeing things through for once.”  I took her advice to heart. I promised myself that I wouldn't quit. I promised myself I would do it for my uncle Chris.

The next year I was moved up to the “A” team where I had a fantastic coach and learned to love basketball. I loved it so much so that I even started playing for a summer team called Playground Elite out of Milwaukee. Playground Elite was a new kind of experience though. It was 45 minutes away from my home, the tempo of the game was lightning fast compared to what I was used to, and I ended up being the only white kid. I knew none of the kids on the team, but I quickly learned that the best way to make friends is with action, not words. I realized that I can small talk all you want and not make a friend. But if I get results people will want to be my friend. By the end of the season, I had learned about the world outside of my little town and made some friends that I’m still close to, to this day!

I had my hopes high heading into my eighth-grade year. I had excelled as a player, I managed to crack the starting lineup on my summer team, and even grew a couple of inches. Unfortunately, my coach that I loved had been replaced by a player's mom. She decided that because I was the tallest player on the team (by a half-inch or so) I should play center. This didn’t make much sense to me because I had always been a guard on my team the year before. When she told me there was no debate in the matter I got down on myself. Almost depressed like. I felt like all my hard work was going to waste and I was disappointing my uncle and the family that came to watch me play. 

My parents then decided that it would be best for me to go to Arrowhead Highschool to start my freshman year. It just so happened that Arrowhead was Kettle moraine's biggest rival, so when I transferred I lost all but a few of my closest friends from middle school. I was truly all alone in a brand new school where nobody knew my name. That fall I had caught the head varsity coaches eye enough to land a tryout with the varsity team. I was the only freshman there so naturally the older players picked me apart and embarrassed me in front of the coaches. At the end of tryouts Coach, Hasse told me the main reason I hadn't made the team was that I wasn't a good enough outside shooter, and I would be playing Junior Varsity. 

In my sophomore year, I made the starting shooting guard spot on Varsity and learned a lot from older players and coaches. I also started making friends on and off the basketball court and ended the year as an Honorable Mention player in the Classic 8 Conference. I was only averaging a little under seven points.  

This year my hard work seemed to pay off. I finished the year, first-team all-conference, second in three-point percentage in the state (regardless of division), and managed to be a part of the team with the best record in school history. 

At the end of the season my Aunt Gina told me through tears that, “Your uncle would be so proud of how far you’ve come, Sammy!” That meant the world to me. To think that all of this came from my uncle's  dream and my perseverance. It really makes me think about what else outside of basketball I can accomplish. 

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