The Student News Site of East Grand Rapids High School

The East Vision

Niki Ezeh Senior Column

Niki Ezeh, Staff Writer

My first ever game on the girls varsity basketball team was against Catholic Central, and we lost by about 40. That was the first taste I got of playing on a varsity sport at East. As the season went on, I watched my closest friends I met playing basketball lose the love of the game, because of the losing records at all 3 levels of the program. Nevertheless, the next day after every game, you could see me in school watching hudl, or trying to relate anything I could to basketball in any way. Obviously my intense focus on the sport wasn’t enough, as we ended the year 1-20. Sometimes at school, members of the program would come up to me and say “Are you going to quit next season? We’re going to suck again” That question resonated with me. It made me angry. At times, I didn’t have an answer for it, but as I continued my time here, my circumstances changed, and that question continued to motivate my every move.
At the end of my freshman season, I revisited that question. Of course, I decided not to quit. I began to think, how do YOU want to be remembered? Through countless hours of lifting, summer workouts on the football field and camps about every other week, “optional” preseason workouts, and fall ball leagues, this question was repeated to myself in my head over a thousand times. I watched those who weren’t up to the challenge of putting their all into bettering the basketball program fade away, and grew closer to those who decided to stay.
During my four years here a lot around me has changed. Even though my situation is a little different now, the question still remains the same. How do you want to be remembered? Those individuals in my class who quit were the same people who sat in the stands watching us (whenever we actually did have a student section) as we had one of the best basketball seasons here in a long time, ending 17-4. And with every win we got since my sophomore year, my choice of sticking with it grew more and more worth it.
However, our ending records weren’t the only benefit of this sport. The relationships I grew with my teammates is something that I will never forget. Through wins and losses, we stuck together. We held each other accountable at practice, but still had a lot of fun during our MANY team bonding activities. I will forever be grateful for getting to know each and everyone of my teammates, because they all are so unique, and I probably would have not developed such close relationships with them if I had not have played basketball.
I laugh to myself sometimes when I reflect on my four years here. Like everybody, it’s been filled with ups and downs, highs and lows. But when I look past all those old trials and tribulations and look at my current situation, something kind of hits me. I realized that, despite the countless number of people who questioned the basketball program, despite all of the blood, sweat, tears ( A LOT of tears), and flying glasses and contacts left on the gym floors, there is no other program that I would’ve rather been apart of, and the team truly taught me a lot of things that I will keep for the rest of my life. I think everyone who is skeptical about playing a sport should definitely go for it, because it has been one of the best experiences of my life.

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