Ally '13 inspires the Seattle Storm

Not many people get to meet the athletes that inspire them, and I consider myself really lucky to be able to say that I have. I was asked by my teachers to write a speech about the impact of basketball on my life for the showing of a documentary about the Seattle Storm. I agreed and being myself, wrote a poem. I performed it on the night of the film showing, and I guess I really moved some people, because the owner of the Storm invited me to perform it again, only this time, in front of the team before their first game. I was honored, and that Sunday I went to Key Arena and read it to them. It was an amazing experience, and the players were really nice and seemed to enjoy hearing a young girl talk about a sport they play professionally. I got their autographs, and we took a picture. It was very inspiring to see what hard work can get a person, and watch those strong women play a sport that I love. 

-Ally '13

If life is a basketball game, 
it’s the state championships
because we only have one chance. 
Sometimes the ball is stolen from us,
sometimes it feels like we can’t win.
But as long as you fight hard,
you can move around the obstacles,
you can learn the game
and think ahead 
thats what I’ve learned.

The first time I played basketball 
was in third grade.
They handed me a too big, green jersey
and told me to mark the tallest girl on the other team. 
Naturally, I was terrified. 
I am small now, and I have always been.
I remember looking up at the girl who was seemingly huge
in comparison to the other eight year olds
and being determined to beat this team.
I told myself it was life or death,
that we needed to win.

We lost. 

But something about losing makes a person, 
work harder,
so they’ll never have to feel that way again.
Losing makes a team push themselves,
makes them practice more, 
brings them closer. 

People say practice makes perfect. 
Well, I’ve found that it doesn't. 
Ever. 
No, practice makes better,
and better isn’t good enough. 
So we practice until best. 

There is something about sports
that makes a person feel accomplished.
Like they’ve done something for themselves
with nothing but hard work 
and the only tool they use is their own body,
makes a person feel like they’ve become something
with their own legs and hands,
like you don’t need anyone,
like you can go places on your own. 

An athlete is not simply someone who plays a sport.
An athlete lives their sport,
dreams of playing the game.
We are thirsty for challenge,
drink up competition with a straw.
An athlete is an athlete on and off the court. 

Basketball is not defined by one game, 
but by the work that was put into each time you step on that court. 
One shot does not define a player,
but a player defines the number on their back. 
Every practice is a chance to be somebody,
to make something for yourself.
So if I’ve learned anything from basketball, 
its that
people play sports 
the same way they live life. 
And if life is a basketball game, 
it’s the state championships
because we only have one chance.