MY LOVE OF THE GAME OF BASKETBALL.

My story for my love of basketball is a simple one. It's a story of OBSESSION. A story of love and passion. In many ways basketball adopted me at an early age. It's been a safe haven for me as long as I can remember. Sometimes operating as a "emotional crutch". Allowing me for a moment to escape from some of the pain I experienced growing up. As I have gotten older I have re calibrated my relationship with the game and I am proud to say I can just enjoy it in its purest form now. As a child and adolescent I would often lean on the game when my personal issues would become overwhelming. I would pick up a basketball and head to the nearest park or gym. It didn't matter if there were games going on or not. Sometimes I would prefer the empty gym. Just the sound of the ball and my sneakers on the court. If I close my eyes I can always feel those sensations no matter what I'm doing. Im sure this relationship with the game is not an uncommon one. Ive seen the game of basketball grow over the years into arguably the number one sport in the world. I know it's also too common for a youth to deal with poverty, depression, drugs violence etc. I have personally met dozens of people on the court who have shared a very similar dynamic with the game. These men and women share the LOVE of the game in similar ways as I. In a weird way it's given me a family outside of my home that I would argue is closer to me than blood. Do not get me wrong not everything on the hardwood is rainbows and hugs. It gets competitive it gets nasty. With that being said more often then not once the game is done there is undoubtbly a bond created within the spirit of the game. I have met LIFELONG friends through the game. Most of the people I went to school with I never see or hear from, but guys I've hooped with over 20 years ago I have seen grow into family men/women. 

As I got older my basketball "network" continued to grow. Multiple job opportunities have arisen simply because somebody liked the way I played the game and carried myself. No joke. I would say basketball has a lifelong "fraternity".The game has allowed me to rub shoulders with doctors, bankers business owners and so on. Basketball being the mutual interest has acted as a "matchmaker" for me. Putting me into rooms and conversations with people I would never of had access to. I owe a lot to the game of basketball. In many ways it raised me. although I had a father for the first 15 years of my life, he was a man of few words and even less patience. Even as my little league basketball coach he would have me sitting at the end of the bench in favor of the better players. As a coach I guess you can't blame him. It did after all teach me the value of talent and hard work. Seeing my peers playing the game I loved with more success hurt, but it was not in vain. Although as a father myself I would say he dropped the ball in this specific instance. Instead of taking the opportunity to build confidence in his only son he prioritized winning. At all cost. Even if it was a junior rec league. So early on I turned to my basketball hero's. The likes of Jason (white chocolate) williams who taught me swagger. Allen "The answer" Iverson who taught me heart. Most influential of all and who in my opinion embodied the perfect competitor. Kobe "The black mamba" Bryant.

As soon as he came into the league he was my favoirte player. 1996 I was 8 years old. Like the number on his jersey. It was Shaq's team, but I knew it was only a matter of time until it became the Kobe Show. I studied Kobe in all aspects of the word. This was before the internet so Magazine articles Newspaper clippings any and all media that I could find. His style of play all the way to how he answered questions. The way Kobe looked up to Mike (Jordan) I looked up to him. At the age of 15 I lost my father to a terminal illness. That year my obsession with the game grew. My home life started to become unstable, family members who were living on the streets addicted to drugs and alcohol started staying with us. I can still smell the smell of piss stained clothing, dirty socks and alcohol that filled our tiny 2 bedroom apartment. My mom tried her best to maintain the peace but it was futile. Too many personality disorders, drug addiction not to mention all the pain and anger that filled the place. So I did what I knew best. Grabbed my basketball and ran. I spent all day everyday on the courts as much as my body could take. Anything to keep me away from that house. Without my father acting as a shield my home life became unbearable. My obsession with the game grew 10 fold. I dove deeper. SLAM magazine became my bible. The courts my church. Laker games my sermons and Kobe the preacher. Seeing how he played every single game like it was his last.Brought a semblance of peace into my life. He made me care as much as he did. Possession by possesion I watched carefully. Even when he didn't have the ball. Picking up how he talked to opposing players, refs, coaches and teammates. Listening to post game interviews for any bit of information on how to play and approach the game we both loved so dearly. I wasn't only trying to pick up basketball tips though. As crazy as it sounds I was also trying to learn how to become a man. With no positive male influences in sight I used Kobe as a muse. That's what this game has done for countless number of people including myself. It can provide hope, direction and purpose. Besides my wife and kids the game of basketball has given me the most joy out of this life. That's why I started GOODWORKSWORLD. Eventually it not only be a basketball community but a global community for anyone who needs a friend, brother/sister, coach or teammate in the game of life.