NOSTALGIA // THE BEST WEEK EVER
A lot of work has already been completed in preparation for All-Star weekend this year, yet there’s still much to be done in three weeks time. As I’m reminded everyday, this year’s All-Star is a unique one, with the festivities taking place ‘in our own backyard.’ Everything about my time with league thus far has been ‘unique.’ I pinch myself everyday when I realize what I’m working on. A chance to use my favorite event in sports as canvas for my creativity is truly something I always dreamed of. It’s impossible to get through these busy days without being reminded of the week I knew that this is what I wanted to do. ‘The best week ever.’
It was the same week I got suspended from my high school basketball team. It was also the reason I got suspended from my high school basketball team! The only time I’ve been suspended for anything. The 2009 All-Star Game was taking place in my hometown of Phoenix and I had the opportunity to be a ball boy for the events. In order to prepare for the events I had be downtown all week, and had to miss two days of basketball practice as a result. I enthusiastically told my coach of my opportunity and that I would be forced to miss a few practices and his reply was, “for every practice you miss, you miss a half of basketball. Do you really want to do that?”
I never looked back. My mom and dad turned on the DVR(which was a ‘new thing’ at the time), and friends as well as teammates intently watched from home. I was the lead ball boy for all practices, Saturday night events and Sunday’s All-Star Game. I rubbed elbows with Kobe and LeBron. I rebounded for the best shooters in the game. And yes, I grabbed the green ball(and swiftly retreated into the tunnel where a league official was waiting for me to receive that ball) that Nate Robinson slammed home to seal a dunk contest victory. (Look for me underneath the basket)
That weekend truly sealed my dreams at age 17. It focused me in on exactly what I wanted to do and where I wanted foster a career. As I mentioned before, that second weekend in February ’09 it was the best week ever… Well, until the second weekend of February ’15 takes place.
The fundamental reason I worked so hard to be where I am, is that I’ve already had a taste what it would be like.