A Second Chance

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

I had heard it all before: life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, and rarely any second chances. Yet in spite of the currents against me, I sought to make for myself a second chance. When my junior year of basketball ended, my heart sunk when I learned that there would be no space for me on the varsity team. Many players might have seen the end of their career on the court then and there, but I wasn’t ready to retire without a fight. After three years of pouring body and soul into my game, I found it difficult – even unbearable – to stay away from the sport.

In the days that followed, I would make my way each day to the school’s gym, just to watch the varsity basketball girls do their daily drills. Just because there was no room for me on the team, I reasoned, did not mean that there was no room for me to improve. So I would take a ball and work quietly on my three-point shots, or practice my lay-ups at the side baskets. And one day, in the middle of shooting free throws, the varsity coach stopped for a moment near me. “Hey,” Coach Kwon whispered, “come practice with us tomorrow. And bring your jersey.” My head grew dizzy with excitement at the thought of a second chance, and as I walked out of the gym, I remembered...

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