Siomai and Basketball
This post is dedicated to people “saved” by the sports they love.
This is dedicated to Basketball, the sport that saved my life. 🙂
I am a basketball player. I was, I am, and I will be… forever.
No, I am not the athletic freak. Nor am I the star player. In fact, the win we had tonight was played in a halfcourt streetball game. By all means, the first line in this post should not establish a perception in your mind that I am a great basketball player.
But instead, let the first line of this post communicate to you that I am a PASSIONATE basketball player.
Basketball saved my life.
But of all the sports, basketball found its way to my “likes”. It gave me an excuse to stop overeating scrumptious Pinoy viands and cease playing RPG games via Playstation1.
Slam Dunk the anime happened. NBA Los Angeles Lakers 2000-2002 three-peat happened. Most importantly, grade school basketball intramurals and grade school varsity team happened.
I know I was accepted in the team because I was BIG – horizontally and vertically. But thank God for the opportunity!
The obese boy did the drills, persistently. Before I realized, passion and perseverance was being taught to me by the orange spheroid.
It was hard. I can’t keep up with my thinner and more conditioned teammates. Playing in the whole court drained me so much – I hate suicides and planting rice drills. There are many times when I felt like puking due to sheer stress and fatigue.
But damn all the pain! I can manage – with the adrenaline, the passion, the perseverance, the drive to learn the sport for the sake of loving… the drive to be better and perhaps change the way I perceive the confidence-draining obesity!
Fast forward to high school, the trainings became much more difficult. More suicides. More footwork drills. More conditioning. 100 laps and you’re not allowed to walk. Defensive position and laterals. Changing paces of speed fast enough coinciding with the whistles of the coach.
More puking. I felt it – I was always trying to exceed my limit. I tried hard not to cheat the drills. And for the perseverance, I was rewarded.
My obese body gradually transforming to a more fit physique. Not commercial model-esque, but to me it was perfect. The fats, the big tummy, the monsters that devour my confidence and my health – they were beginning to be hit by the bouncing orange spheroid of hope.
I felt alive. Now I can manage to study the sport and be confident that perhaps my body can do the maneuvers more fluidly – without looking a trying hard big snowman on the court.
I began to idolize the footwork moves of Kobe Bryant and Hakeem Olajuwon. The big man finesse of Dirk Nowitzki. I began to dream to be somehow a good basketball player. But I know my niche as a basketball player.
The scrappy, effort-full, role player.
I tried to master the basics – layups, bank shots, pivot footworks, post moves, etc. But my true niche as a basketball player, given I’m in the peak condition, is to “die for the ball”.
Grab the loose ball. Get the rebound. Challenge shots. Make clutch shots. Do what the team needs. Ultimately, win the game without tarnishing the honor of the sport – the same sport who saved my life.
Basketball taught me how passion can change the tide of any game, including the game of life.
Basketball taught me how to persevere for the ultimate goal.
Basketball taught me what honor meant.
Basketball taught me that championships are not given; they are earned.
Basketball taught me to know your role in the team, and do it well. There are times that you will not be in the limelight, but in the end, the final score is a greater reward more than the highlights.
This is why I’d “die” for the ball while playing in a serious game. Basketball saved my life, and it’s only fitting that my playing style reciprocated the favor.
I am a basketball player. I was, I am, and I will be… forever.
PS: Some of you will be wondering why the hell the title of the post is “Siomai and Basketball”.
During lunch before the game, me and my family ate at an eat-all-you-can restaurant containing unlimited siomai. I ate alot. And I believe the reason why we won the game and I performed so well is because of the amount of siomais I ate. They gave me the energy!
But really, it made me realize that I can enjoy the pleasures of eating plenty of food without getting obese – as long as I honor and play the game that saved my life.
I’m glad I got to witness all this happen. Remembering how you transformed from grade school to college… it’s a story that I hope will find its way to others who are unmotivated to exercise or keep themselves healthy. I believe it starts with loving your body.
I remember your clutch shot during our 4th year game against the semi-cream class (it was at night, a first to 100 basketball game officiated by Tata Mar). Also, how you led our team to our sole (but oh so sweet!) win against the eventual Champions. Galing talaga!
And yeah! Buti na lang may Slam Dunk! =))
Hahaha! The memories. I remember our never-say-die Sakuragi Hanamichi attitude, and believing na kahit cream section na “nerd” ang bansag satin, kaya nating manalo.
And what better way to prove it than to have our ONLY win agains the EVENTUAL CHAMPIONS haha! Bragging rights!!!
Haha the memories! Oh well, saya magbasketball and kayo rin naman dahilan kung bakit masayang magbasketball kahit cream class.
I remember the “free-plays” during PE – it automatically means basketball time! Fun high school times that I miss now that we’re in college 🙁
Share your love-for-sports stories! 🙂
galing! getting better in writing! it’s not actually the know-how here but the stories shared which are actually inspiring and moving. you never fail to impress Patch when you’re just expressing, hehehe! write more and who knows!? you might have saved a life or two as well with your stories that are genuinely real and moving.
and btw the siomai part…oh well…is indeed corny, hehehehe joke! pero nakakagutom! hahahaha
hahaha the “siomai and basketball” title is an experiment. nung sinusulat ko kasi sir yung title na yun, i thought WTF? but for me it’s a never-before-tried hook.
and the siomai last part, an attempt at light humor just to regulate the heaviness of the last parts of the article. 😀
thanks sir! hehe. 🙂
i’ve read a book entitled “All Marketers are Liars” by Seth Godin, which is actually about how marketing is about, ironically, telling authentic stories to the consumers for marketing to be effective.
what i realized is people have the knack to tell what’s sincere and what’s superficial. relating things to the art of creative writing, the real challenge is choosing the best words to express what you really want to communicate. wordplay, creative styles, etc are the amplifiers of the message the writing wants to tell. the funny thing is, creative styles and other techniques cannot fully mask anything that fundamentally is not worth communicating about.
and perhaps this writing is one of the testaments to the lesson “you write to express, not to impress”.
and i’d like to highlight what you said sir: ” it’s not actually the know-how here but the stories shared which are actually inspiring and moving.” i think that’s my brand of writing. i can sometimes base my writings on research, academic and heavy stuff, but i’ll always be at my best when i’m writing something that caters more to the emotions rather than the just straightly informing the reader. 🙂
Thank you for this great post. Basketball saved my life too. I have been playing baskrtball since I was 5 years old but stopped when I entered college. I became lazy, overweight and started skipping class and not doing my work. I started messing around with drugs and eventually I was nearly kicked out of my college last year. That’s when I found myself alone in the gym with a basketball. I started practicing by myself again. I would go on for hours on end. Long story short I am now back I my college and due to graduate in a year. I play for my college team and have never felt better. The lessons basketball taught me will forever be with me.