July 10, 2012

“The Underdogs”

"Mr. Underdog..they don't hear my bark.. I want the title but they got me fightin Undercard...just underated....hustlin just tryna make it..". I'm paraphrasing lyrics from a Wale track but while sitting here watching some summer league basketball I can only help but relate to these guys as I embark on a similar path of my own. Even though I’m on a further removed platform the similarities are there. Some of them first round draft picks, some second year players, some from overseas, I can keep going. Some of these guys 26,27 years old still trying to prove their ability to make it to the “big leagues” Players drafted or undrafted four or five years ago who are still trying to prove they are capable, they are worthy.  “The Underdogs” as I thought of the title. The shier love of the game and fulfilling a childhood dream ……..and for the majority of them the odds are against them. What separates the ones who make it from the ones who don’t? Who has had the work ethic? The ability to learn on the fly and adapt to new coaching, a new environment? Will a scout or an organization take a chance? Will they see Potential? Mostly all of these questions are answered after this summer league. I believe this is what it’s all about. Anybody who’s truly going for something where they could just as easily fail is truly challenging themselves. The competition, the grind, the let downs, the surprises ,the Opportunities. Most don’t have a contract, there’s no guarantees, its do or die for most of these guys, An ugly process to say the least. In some ways this is the end of the road or the beginning of a journey. From a personal aspect the backing of a strong support system (Family and friends) and Faith in God are a solid foundation to have while enduring this process. "The fight for their athletic lives" is basically what it comes down to. When it’s all said and done 85% will be demoted to the D-League, overseas, some may not play again. 5% of these guys are just getting extra needed developmental work and the other 10% will get chance….and for some of them that’s all it will be, a chance. To close this out I searched for a quote that would simply summarize it all, and I came up with one from the wonderful Maya Angelou – “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous or honest.”..Til my next entry, I thank you for reading..

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