Basketball and Education

By Dennis Purnell

Instructor’s note: This essay is addressed to other young men who see basketball as the key to the door of a better life.

Basketball is more than just lacing up and performing on the court. Basketball is a way of living. When you are an athlete you should have a sense of pride about yourself. You must respect yourself, teammates, coaches, and others. Especially if you are a student athlete. Eyes are on you in school and on the court. You are a role model for the up and coming athletes in your school and around your neighborhood. Every athlete needs a support team. If you don’t respect yourself no one else will. Your support team will preach one thing. Avoid anything that will effect your game or keep you from playing.

Respecting yourself is simply having a positive attitude and making smart decisions off the court. It is wise to start in the classroom, seeing as that is what puts you on the team. Every player has to maintain a 2.0 which is a C average. Paying attention in class and behaving in class will be the keys to getting the grades you need. This will show the teacher that you care about your education as much as the team, so if you need help from them they have no problem going an extra mile. The good grades also give you a confidence that should carry over to the court .

Other than your education, taking care of your body is important when being an athlete. If your body is not promptly taking care you will not be able to perform to your true potential. The usage of drug does affect your body, maybe not right a way, but it will over time. It is important to avoid non-game related injuries, so be careful when doing activities. When you do have an injury take care of it soon as possible. Also monitor it, so you know what to tell coaches and doctors. If you are going to play with a injury make sure you at least 80 percent before stepping on the court. Do not try to play with a serious injury.

I neglected all of these factors while in school and it hurts me every time it enters my mind. I lost sight of my dream which was to play basketball in college and on a professional level. I was given a second chance when I was accepted to attend UMES (University Of Maryland Eastern Shore). As my teenage year are coming to a end I understand a lot more in life. I know it will take sacrifice and hard work. The first thing I must do is kick the habit of smoking which has brought my level of performance down tremendously. Not dealing with my tendonitis also has hindered me from playing up to my expectation. I wanted to write this to help up and coming athlete. If you are not an student athlete education is still important. Basketball may not always be there so have a back up plan. Never give up on a dream. You can do whatever you put your mind to.


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One Response to “Basketball and Education”

  1. bballuniversity Says:

    Valuable message for any student athlete. What’s more important, you’re speaking from experience that has definitely cost you time and perhaps, missed opportunities. I’m sure someone offered the same guidance/advice to you during your adolesnce but somehow it didn’t resonate and that continues to be the challenge today for youth and adults alike. So many of us operate from the “I’ll be ok-won’t happen to me” mentality and before you know it we detour from a path that would potentially net better results. So how do we help the student athlete that will soon be faced with making similar decisions that will greatly affect their future in sports and athletics? I believe our greatest opportunity to positively influence change is at the elementary and middle school level. Imagine the youth sports community taking a more active role in making a connection between academics and athletics on every level between grades 1-8 for every sport? Our message should always promote excellence as a citizen, student and athlete. I appluad you for sharing your life lessons.

    Coach Lima Pereira

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